Cloud Computing Overview

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In April 2012, I had a chance to join a very big project to build a finance system which could serve multiple tenants. At the first day, I found some words mentioned about SaaS and Cloud Computing, the things have taken me quite a lot of time to study and investigate until now.

So what’s the Cloud Computing? What’s the SaaS? I found the answers and want to share to you.

What’s Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow the centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources.

wikipedia.org

The term of Cloud Computing appeared from 1950s and in 2007 it came into popularity. The following reasons shows us why Cloud Computing became popular.

cloud-overview-reason

 Figure 1 – Cloud Computing Characteristics

Cloud Computing Solution

When you need to create an application for your business you have a couple different options. The following diagram shows us all relevant solutions.

cloud-overview-option

 Figure 2 – Cloud Computing Solutions

The first one is traditional approach, you need to manage everything by yourself. IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are all Cloud Computing solutions.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

  • The provider has created the infrastructure. This allows the developer to create their own platform and software.
  • The developer takes responsibly to maintain and update the system not the provider. The service providers more flexibility and requires a higher amount of technical knowledge.

Below are some of features that can be included with an IaaS offering:

  • Virtual Machine
  • Data Storage
  • Network

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

  • PaaS is going to offer you the hardware and the infrastructure for running applications over the internet.
  • The service provider has already built the infrastructure and the platform, so all the developer has to do is write their program and deploy it.
  • Maintenance falls on the PaaS provider; so that’s one less thing the developer has to worry about.

Below are some of the features that can be included with a PaaS offering:

  • Operating system
  • Server-side scripting environment
  • Database management system
  • Hosting
  • Tool for design and development

SaaS (Software as a Service)

  • SaaS comes with infrastructure, the platform and even the software.
  • Depending on the SaaS’s purpose, it could include e-commerce, enterprise or other types of software already installed on the platform.
  • SaaS are for businesses who don’t want to deal with the maintaining or creating the software for their applications.
  • SaaS doesn’t offer the flexibility of creating custom software like IaaS, but instead offers more generic software for consumers.

You can also hear other terms like DaaS (Desktop as a Service, Data-center as a Service), BaaS (Business as a Service) and etc. But from my perspective, they will be matched with 3 main solutions I described above. New names are the providers’ strategy to make us forget the old one.

Cloud Computing Models

In term of the different levels of security and management required we have three models of Cloud Computing: Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud.

cloud-overview-model

 Figure 3 – Cloud Computing Models

Model Characteristics The Obvious choice when
Public Cloud
  • Services, applications and storage are made available to users over the internet
  • Greatest level of efficiency in shared resource
  • More vulnerable
  • Standardized workload for application is used by a lots of people
  • SaaS applications from vendor who has a well-implemented security strategy
  • Need incremental capability (the ability to add more resources for peak times)
  • Doing an ad-hoc software development project
Private Cloud
  • Consist of infrastructure is deployed solely for single organization
  • Greatest level of security and control
  • Require purchasing and maintaining all the software and infrastructure
  • Business is your data and your application. Security and control are paramount
  • The company is large enough to run cloud data center efficiently
Hybrid Could
  • Comprises both private (internal) and public (external) cloud services
  • Keep each aspect at business in the most efficient environment
  • Want to use a SaaS application but concern about security
  • Use public cloud to interact with clients but keep their data secured within a private cloud

 

Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen is a Cloud Consultant working for FPT Software’s Cloud Innovation team. With deep knowledge in AWS and MS Azure, Son acts as a cloud consultant in various areas, ranging from assessment to architecture design, supporting customers from Japan, EU to US.

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