What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is IT infrastructure that is on-demand, over the internet, and with pay-as-you-go pricing. There are a number of storage, database, computing power, and server solutions available through AWS that are widely available and readily affordable with the capacity to adjust use rates based on expected traffic. As for worst-case scenarios, Amazon has ample redundancies and backups ready to maintain application availability and loss of important data. Even if you didn’t start natively with AWS infrastructure, the migration to AWS can be assisted at every point of the process. For more information on AWS, check out our starter’s guide here.
Multiple leaders from different industries have found a place and purpose for AWS tools within their operations. Healthcare companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention. Video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world. Even the public sector needs solutions for directing emergency services throughout urban areas and other problems that AWS can handle.
The cloud provides access to a broad range of technologies that can allow faster innovation and build countless applications. Along with making rapid adjustments to the volume of the AWS services being used, users can pick up or stop using services when they need them. Furthermore, solutions can be rapidly deployed within minutes, going from the concept board to an actual launch faster than any other method. This leaves more room to not only roll a business out but to test and experiment with how to further enhance the customer experience.
Elasticity and Cost Savings
With cloud computing, users don’t need to over-provision resources up front to handle peak levels of business activity in the future. Back to agility, users have the ability to only bring on resources when customer traffic intensifies while only needing to provision the minimum number of resources that are needed. Not only can this degree of scaling occur near instantaneously, but it can happen well in advance with learning algorithms designed to anticipate traffic. This way, users not only save on operating costs, but also minimize the amount of time AWS’ wheels are just in the air spinning with no traction.
AWS has multiple access points across all continents, both main infrastructure and fail safes. With this much availability, users can expand to new geographic regions and deploy their applications globally within minutes. In just a few clicks, this puts applications in closer proximity to end users, overall reducing latency and improving the user experience. As security concerns continue to grow and fluctuate, the previously mentioned redundancies ensure that whether it’s from an attack or maintenance, any access points that are down will be covered by another within the same region.
Types of Infrastructure Available
The three main types of cloud computing on offer from AWS each offer different levels of control, flexibility, and management tools so that different users with different needs can find what best suits them and the applications they want to build. If this doesn’t properly clarify what is best for your ideas, this is a topic explored with further detail here.
Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT. It typically provides access to networking features, computers - whether it be virtual or on dedicated hardware - and data storage space. It gives the highest level of flexibility and management control over IT resources. Because this is most similar to the existing IT resources, many IT departments and developers will be familiar right off the bat, meaning down time needed to familiarize IT staff with the onboarding process will be brought to a minimum.
Platform as a Service
PaaS (Platform as a Service) removes the need to persistently manage underlying infrastructure - usually hardware and operating systems - and allows users to retain focus on the deployment and management of applications. It streamlines production without the need to expend time on resource procurement, capacity planning, software maintenance, patching, or any of the other associated overhead with application management.
Software as a Service
SaaS (Software as a Service) provides a complete product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to SaaS are referring to end-user applications such as web-based email. Basically, this means the need to worry about how the service is maintained or how the underlying infrastructure is managed is a non-factor. The only thing users will then need to worry about is how to use that particular software.