Cloud Computing: Meaning and How it Works
When talking about technology or computing, the term 'cloud' is indeed not new. In very simple terms, 'cloud' is considered to be a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing stands for a type of outsourcing of computer programs. With cloud computing, users will be able to access software and applications from wherever they are; the computer programs are hosted by an outside party and reside in the cloud. This explains the fact that users do not have to worry about things such as power and storage, they can just enjoy the end result.
Cloud computing works by storing data and information on physical or virtual servers, which are maintained and controlled by a cloud computing provider. As a business or personal cloud computing user, you will be able to access your stored information on the 'cloud', through an Internet connection.
Major Types of Cloud Computing
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is considered to be the lowest level of cloud solution and refers to cloud-based computing infrastructure as a fully outsourced service. An IaaS provider delivers pre-installed and configured software or hardware via a virtualized interface. What the customers accessing the cloud services do with the service is left up to them. Managed hosting and development environments are examples of IaaS offerings.
- Access to enterprise-grade IT resources and infrastructure
- Users pay for the service that they want
- Users will be able to scale up and down based on their requirements at any time
- Brings down the total cost of ownership and capital expenditures
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is another type of cloud computing similar to IaaS despite being much more advanced. With PaaS, besides just simply providing infrastructure, providers also provide a computing platform and solution stack as a service. The IT infrastructure may be available with a graphic user interface, programming languages, an operating system, or run-time system libraries. The cloud computing services offered by PaaS are mostly used by companies that need to develop, test, collaborate and deploy cloud solutions for specific applications. However, a third party or the PaaS provider is responsible for the hosting of the application.
- Companies experience lower risk as they do not have to make an upfront investment in software and hardware.
- Many people are interested in building cloud applications in PaaS environments. This develops a strong supportive community capable of helping your development team.
- The development team will focus on developing the cloud application without even worrying about the testing and deployment infrastructure.
- Companies need not upgrade or update the infrastructure software. Instead, the PaaS provider takes care of all upgrades, routine software maintenance, and patches.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing service providing fully functional web-based applications on demand to customers. These applications mainly target business users and can include ERP, web conferencing, email, time management, project tracking, and CRM to mention a few.
- Rapid scalability
- Bundled maintenance and support
- Eliminates infrastructure concerns
- Custom levels of service offerings
- Accessibility from any location with Internet
Recovery as a Service (RaaS)
Recovery as a Service (RaaS) is a type of cloud computing service enabling companies to replace their backup. Services also include disaster recovery, archiving, and business continuity solutions in a single, integrated platform. RaaS providers are capable of protecting and helping companies recover entire data centers, servers, and data. RaaS also helps businesses to cut down the impact of downtime when disasters take place.
- Allows faster recovery while maintaining accuracy
- Is a cost-effective way of recovering data
- Offers greater flexibility on the type of backup that is needed
- Prevent permanent or temporary loss of critical company data
- Prevents permanent loss of physical infrastructure and IT infrastructure
All these cloud computing solutions thus provide an increasing number of advantages but there are indeed a few challenges you will have to encounter when talking about the security aspect of these cloud computing types. Cloud computing security presently focuses on delivering extreme protection, featuring state-of-art functionalities more similar to conventional on-premise IT security system. This guarantees to deliver security to protect confidential customer and business information from data theft and massive online security breaches.
These cloud computing services could thus have flaws in their methods of security practices that leave users' data vulnerable to any malware attack. To prevent such attacks, Comodo has its cWatch Cloud: a managed cloud security service capable of providing application and network security for different deployment scenarios, cloud, on-premises, or hybrid. cWatch Cloud has been developed to mainly manage and deliver consistent protection to the confidential data and assets available over the cloud.
cWatch Cloud is a complete security solution ideal for diverse environments that satisfy a number of compliance mandates such as PCI DSS and HIPAA almost instantly after subscription. Thus, cWatch Cloud will definitely provide you with a secure IT environment besides providing an extensive set of reports that are required by compliance authorities.
Network threat detection, log management, and application security management features of cWatch Cloud, incorporated with top-level security expertise, will surely result in easy compliance to the regulations for IT security published by almost all of the authorities.
cWatch cloud also offers 24x7x365 monitoring, incident handling, and response. Comodo cWatch Web Security provides top level security experts at your service so that you can be sure about the significance of the event when you are contacted. These experts will eliminate all other events and escalate only the essential ones with well-defined automated and manual procedures.