What's what in the cloud?
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What's what in the cloud?

ERP ? from the cloud is a variant of the business software offer that is increasingly attracting the interest of small and medium-sized enterprises. The opportunities that lie behind the (different) operator models are manifold. Medium-sized companies in particular see cloud computing as an opportunity to concentrate entirely on their core business and leave the tedious IT work to others.

In this way, own IT resources are losing more and more ground to manage cloud environments. Today, many companies still operate their own IT, but the path towards the cloud has already been taken and is becoming more and more common. Only 26 per cent of decision-makers still plan to further expand their own resources.

At the same time, there is still some confusion about the terms cloud and SAAS (Software as a Service). Some of the basic terminology should therefore be explained here:

What is cloud computing?

The basic idea is to transform classic products into web services. Cloud computing is not a fixed product term, but encompasses different computing aspects, such as network infrastructure, software and data storage. All these products are offered as a service, where in the end you only pay for what you actually use. The user's data is stored externally and is accessible via the internet. The service provider manages all of the user's infrastructure and/or software so that the user has time to fully focus on their core tasks and processes to be able to concentrate. Many providers store the data in different data centres that are geographically separated and located in different places. In this way, users can access their data in the data cloud via another data centre in the event of power failures or natural disasters.

What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the Cloud?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS for short) is the backbone of the Computing in the cloud. Instead of buying expensive data centre infrastructure, users simply rent some space in a virtual data centre from an IaaS provider. They access this virtual data centre via the internet, called the 'cloud'. This segment of cloud computing provides the basics of IT, with users only paying for the equipment they use: CPU cores, RAM, disk space and data transfer. Think of ProfitBricks, Amazon EC2 or Rackspace Cloud, for example. All three providers allow users to rent virtual servers.

What is Platform as a Service (PaaS) in the Cloud?

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a solution to deploy, test, use and manage custom applications as a cloud service. This mainstay of cloud services is gaining popularity as it allows users to focus entirely on application development. With the help of PaaS, there is no need to buy or manage the underlying structure; PaaS providers often partner with IaaS providers to host the respective platforms from development to use on a flexible infrastructure foundation.

What is Software as a Service (SaaS) in the Cloud ?

Software as a Service (SaaS) describes the use of software online from the cloud instead of buying it and installing it locally on the computer. SaaS products can be divided into two areas: User products and enterprise applications. Common examples of SaaS user products are Gmail and Google Docs; both are free to use and accessible via a web browser. Well-known SaaS applications for companies include Netsuite and Salesforce.com. These programmes enable companies to use individual company segments, such as Sales & Marketing, more efficiently through the internet. SaaS providers use multi-tenancy to keep infrastructure costs low. The software is accessible to all registered users and is automatically updated and modified without incurring additional costs. The SaaS provider manages the entire infrastructure at one or more locations. This reduces the costs for him, so that he can offer the software use by means of a monthly user fee at a much lower price than the expensive initial investment at the customer's premises. SaaS programmes can be developed via PaaS applications, which in turn run on IaaS.

What is virtualisation?

In connection with current IT topics related to services from the cloud, the term "virtualisation" comes up again and again. Virtual machines are increasingly conquering data centres and virtualisation is often described as the decisive key and step on the way to an optimal IT infrastructure for companies of all sizes.

What is a private cloud?

The private cloud is a special server environment that is only provided for one user (a company or organisation) and is usually operated in-house. Access is either via the internet or via an in-house intranet.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud is a combination of hardware hosted on-site by the user and a service provider in the public cloud. In this hybrid form of both approaches, certain services are thus operated and processed in-house, while others are available from a public cloud provider via the internet.

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