Cloud services are application and infrastructure resources that exist on the Internet. Third-party providers contract with subscribers for these services, allowing customers to leverage powerful computing resources without having to purchase or maintain hardware and software.
When you use cloud services, you are able to hand off managing infrastructure and focus instead on just using it. The provider you choose will support a wide range of activities that keep your business operating, such as application processing and exchange, storage, and management of your data. Using these services, your authorized users can communicate, collaborate, manage projects, and conduct data analysis, processing, sharing, and storage without needing your IT department to oversee, maintain, or back up the activity.
Using cloud computing services, subscribers access online resources through workstations, laptops, tablets, and smartphones that are configured to protect the data and assets hosted on the cloud. With a pay-as-you-go model, cloud services offer a low-cost way to accommodate spikes in demand more efficiently than in-house computing services.
How are cloud services used?
The power, flexibility, and agility of cloud services have led to a myriad of uses, with more being invented every day.
Email: Perhaps the first cloud service ever offered, email doesn’t require any software to be installed on a local device to be able to use it. The application itself is hosted on the cloud—a SaaS use case.
Big Data Analytics: Big Data refers to the huge amounts of information that businesses such as Amazon and Facebook collect to understand human buying behavior. Now, most companies use their own customer data to make decisions on sales, marketing, R&D, and more. Using cloud services to store, manage, and analyze this data offers a powerful advantage—an IaaS use case.
Software Development: Because of the cloud’s flexibility, users can build environments, test them, and tear them down quickly. What previously took months to provision can now take just a few minutes, which is a perfect scenario for highly iterative processes, such as software development. With PaaS, developers do not need to bother with maintenance, so they’re free to concentrate on development.
Backup and Disaster Recovery: Using IaaS, you can access nearly unlimited storage space with built-in data lifecycle management policies. Using a deep data storage service, you can implement a data backup and archive process for any data that is over 30 days old. Just like that, as long as you have access to the Internet, you have access to the data no matter what happens to your facility.
Web Hosting: Organizations often use IaaS for web hosting so they can balance the traffic load across multiple servers and scale up and down quickly and automatically as traffic fluctuates. The ability to provision and implement automatic scaling simplifies the whole process and takes out much of the administrative input and maintenance required.