What Are Cloud Services?

Cloud services run computing services through the cloud, also known as the Internet. This is different from traditional IT which computes through hardware and software locally.

Cloud computing can include databases, networks, servers, and other common services. And in most cases, you only pay for what you need and you can order services on demand. Doing so frees your company up to spend more money and attention on other areas, and scale services as you grow.

Companies can use cloud services for almost anything. Some of the more common cloud services include:

✔️ Data analysis
✔️ Data storage, backup, and recovery
✔️ Application building and testing
✔️ Document editing
✔️ Streaming
✔️ Email

What are the benefits of cloud services?

More and more companies turn to cloud computing every day. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it separates hardware and computing. For example, with cloud services, you get:

Processing power without CPUs
Memory without RAM
Data storage without hard drives
The latest technology without infrastructure maintenance
Comprehensive IT solutions without on-premises software licenses

This innovative approach to computing unlocks countless benefits for businesses. Here are the three most important:

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Traditional IT systems need hardware and software to run. Not to mention, you also need space to store servers and electricity to power equipment. Cloud services take all this out of the equation, and you only pay for what you need.

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Cloud services give you the freedom to scale up and down on demand. For example, your IT infrastructure can grow with your business over the next few years. Or you can spin services up and down from week to week. It’s completely up to you.

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Without server rooms, expensive hardware, and data centers to deal with, IT is flexible. When it's time to grow or change business directions, your IT easily pivots with you. And it pivots without all the extra costs.

Types of cloud services

There are four types of cloud service categories and each one builds on top of the other to form a stack.

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Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

✔️ Rent IT infrastructure
✔️ Servers and networks
✔️ Storage, operating systems, virtual machines, and more

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Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

✔️ On-demand cloud applications
✔️ Connect to the application via the Internet (usually a web browser or mobile app)
✔️ Includes the infrastructure and platform required to run those applications

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Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS)

✔️ On-demand software application environment
✔️ Used to develop, test, and manage software apps
✔️ Includes IT infrastructure required to run those applications

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Function-as-a-Service (FaaS)

✔️ Build, run, and manage application packages as functions
✔️ Developers don’t have to manage the IT infrastructure that’s required to run it
✔️ Doesn’t require servers to constantly run

How are cloud services delivered?

There are three ways to deliver cloud services and each one serves a different purpose. The type of cloud services you use depends on your business, your needs, and your budget. Here’s a look at each so you can better understand why each one is valuable:

Public cloud services

Third-party cloud service providers own public clouds and “rent” them out to businesses. Each business pays a recurring fee for the software, infrastructure, or whatever they need. Businesses then use web browsers to access the services they pay for.

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Private cloud services

Individual businesses can own private clouds. Businesses can then host their private cloud themselves onsite, or pay a third party to host it for them. Either way, private cloud services are maintained through private networks.

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Hybrid cloud services

Companies use hybrid cloud services to share data across private and public clouds. When businesses use a mix of public and private, they’re able to enhance:

✔️ Infrastructure
✔️ Security and compliance
✔️ Flexibility

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The future of cloud services

Companies across the world are already changing how they use IT. It's largely due to the flexibility and freedom that cloud services offer. As cloud services continue to get more and more sophisticated, so will the companies that embrace new technology. We can look forward to:

✔️ Increased storage capacity
✔️ Faster Internet performance
✔️ Fewer cyberattacks
✔️ Affordable computing solutions
✔️ Modular software that’s user-friendly
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