Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services, like storage, software, analytics, and databases over the Internet to offer flexible resources and economies of scale. It is a paradigm shift from the traditional way businesses think about computing and IT resources.
Instead of owning computing infrastructure or datacenters, organizations can rent access to cloud solutions and pay for only the solutions they use. Thus, organizations can avoid heavy upfront investments and the complexity of maintaining the IT infrastructure. Cloud computing service providers can benefit by delivering their IT services to multiple tenants over the Internet.
Prominent public cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.
Public cloud: The third-party cloud service providers own the public cloud and the supporting infrastructure like hardware and software. They deliver computing resources to organizations on the basis of a subscription fee. Users can get access to these services and manage their profiles using web browsers. This cloud deployment model is completely virtualized, which allows users to share resources while maintaining the security and privacy of each user’s data.
Private cloud: In this internal or corporate cloud environment, computing services are offered via a private network and used exclusively by a single customer or business organization. Companies can maintain their private cloud on their on-premise datacenters or subscribe to third-party service providers to host their private cloud. Private cloud not only offers several benefits of cloud computing, like flexibility and scalability but also enhances security and resource optimization of on-premise infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud: It is a combination of both public and private cloud, or like an on-premise data center and a public cloud, where data and applications can be shared securely between them. Most organizations do not depend entirely on the public cloud. A hybrid cloud environment offers greater flexibility, and more deployment options, and helps in maintaining the privacy and regulatory compliance.
Both hybrid and multi-cloud environments refer to cloud deployments with more than one cloud. The difference lies in the cloud infrastructure they incorporate.
While a multicloud environment is an integration of different clouds of the same nature, for instance, a combination of various public clouds (e.g. Amazon Web Services and Azure), hybrid cloud environments blend two or more varying types of clouds, like a combination of public and private cloud.
In a multi-cloud architecture, the solutions are offered by multiple third-party service providers. Hence, it operates in silos, whereas, in a hybrid cloud environment, the processes and data tend to interconnect. Multi-cloud deployment depends on third-party cloud utilization and cost control, while in a hybrid cloud environment, the native cloud utilization and cost control are emphasized.
Software as a Service (SaaS): It is a software licensing and delivery model where the cloud service providers host software applications, and infrastructure, and manage software upgrades and patching. Users can connect to the software applications over the Internet on a pay-as-you-go basis, using their devices like laptops and phones. The service provider ensures the security and availability of the applications and data privacy and manages the hardware and software with suitable service agreements.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): This cloud computing service works as an on-demand development and deployment environment for developing, managing, and testing mobile and web applications. PaaS helps developers quickly create applications without the added tension of setting up infrastructure, servers, storage, and databases and managing software licenses, which are crucial for app development. PaaS comprises the primary cloud features, like scalability, availability, and multi-tenant capability, and it allows developers to spend much lesser time on coding.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This cloud computing service, which was first introduced by Oracle in 2012, offers on-demand storage and networking resources in all types of cloud environments, public, private and hybrid clouds. IaaS replaces the complexity of managing physical servers and datacenter infrastructure and thus helps users to save expenses on hardware and on-premise datacenters. A cloud service provider manages the infrastructure and enables the users to purchase and configure their own software and operating systems.
The major difference between on-premise and SaaS is that SaaS solutions are hosted by third-party cloud service providers, whereas the on-premise solutions are hosted and managed in-house i.e. by business organizations.
When comparing these two solutions, you need to consider several factors: