The cloud has been trending since forever. You might have heard of the term, cloud or cloud computing and wondered what it is. The term cloud computing in its simplest terms implies that the data and programs are stored on the Internet instead of the computer’s hard disk, i.e. the local storage.
In cloud computing the data is stored or accessed on the Internet. It varies for the individual users and the businesses. For businesses, there are different structures of cloud which can be implemented as per their requirement.
Different forms of cloud computing
- Public : It includes the Internet whereby the users can use resources available on the Internet.
- Private: It includes the architecture available to the company and is used mostly by large companies.
- Hybrid : It includes the best of both private and public clouds. In this form, the companies can manage their private cloud as well as public cloud. It is beneficial during a natural disaster.
Types of cloud service models
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
In IaaS, the hardware and virtual operating system is provided to the customer. The customer can rent the infrastructure and pay on the basis of usage. IaaS enables the users to build and deploy PaaS, SaaS and web applications. For example, Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Microsoft and Google Engine.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In PaaS, the deployment and development environment is provided to the customer so that user can develop simple or complex apps. For example, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, Cloud Foundry whereby the charges depend on the utilized computing power (CPU hours used in a month). The customers get a platform where software can be developed and deployed and use resources as and when businesses require. It reduces the cost for businesses as they don’t need to invest in redundant resources. PaaS includes servers, storage, networking, middleware, BI services, database management system, development tools etc.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
It is a type of cloud service where businesses sell application on subscription basis. For example, Google Docs, Salesforce, Dropbox whereby applications are offered on a web browser. The application hosting, maintenance (patches, upgrades) and infrastructure is handled by the cloud provides. Since, the software is deployed and maintained on a third-party, the cost of licensing and managing software is reduced for the business.
Now that the different models of cloud computing are clear, we move on to the benefits of using Microsoft Azure and how you can benefit from using PaaS.
Benefits of using PaaS
- Reduced coding time due to the in-built coding components like workflow, search etc.
- Development for cross platform is quicker and easy
- The existing development software and analytics tool allow customers to use complex tools without purchasing them.
- Allows for team to work remotely.
- The complete application lifecycle can be completed in a single integrated environment.
How can Azure help you in increasing profit and productivity?
The Azure app service can be beneficial for the company but the implementation needs to be done carefully. Before the implementation is done you must understand the problem you are trying to solve and choose the platform best suited to your needs. The Azure portal enables developers to use all the Azure services or manage services by using APis and templates. It also includes a content delivery network using networks like Akamai and Verizon. It is well integrated with Microsoft technologies and offers a lot of tools.
It is also important to experiment a little and see what works based on feedback. You also need to set expectations that can be achieved and measured in say a few weeks and check for the quality.
- Microsoft Azure is a simple tool which allows for a great deal of freedom and flexibility. Azure takes away the pressure from customer and build an application that is managed locally.
- Azure data centres can enable customers to develop sophisticated, complex situations. You can build an image recognition software or an intelligent app using the real-time analytics.
- It is cost-effective and allows developers to work remotely.
- It offers flexibility to users through a vast network of data centres.
- Azure focus on security and data privacy to ensure the data remains secure and protected. In many instances, the data is leaked by the employees. By switching to the cloud, the chances of data being stolen by hackers is reduced and it is easy to meet the compliance norms set by the government. It is also possible to set the security settings based on the user.
- You would need to pay for computing resources you use and that removes the need to buy expensive hardware and software. It also eliminated the need to buy storage space as you just need to pay for the storage space you are using. It reduces the cost and increases the returns.
- It gives the customers time to focus on the demands of the business rather than worry about computer, server, storage etc.
- It gives an edge to a business as many business still prefer to use traditional solutions. By having a cloud technology, you can not only build complex apps quickly but also gain a massive competitive edge.
- Azure can help you with designing and upgrading your IT system.
Azure stack also fixes the challenges faced in a hybrid cloud model. It allows customers to use Azure tools even if they are using their own servers and data centres. It has a unified ecosystem and developers can use Azure API and build/deploy application on Azure or Azure Stack. The development process is seamless and quick. With the Azure stack, developers get a reliable and quick model so that they can scale their applications easily and stay up-to-date with the current innovations. One more benefit of using Azure stack is the ability to choose hardware as per their requirements. With Microsoft Azure, you can build extremely sophisticated applications and also avoid any emergency scenarios.