What are Cloud Services?
Cloud services are application and infrastructure resources that exist on the internet. Third-party providers conclude contracts with subscribers for these services, allowing customers to leverage powerful computing resources without having to purchase or maintain hardware and software.
Why use cloud services?
When you use cloud services, you are able to hand off managing infrastructure and focus instead on just using it. The provider you choose will support a wide range of activities that keep your business operating, such as application processing and exchange, storage and management of your data. Using these services, your authorised users can communicate, collaborate, manage projects and conduct data analysis, processing, sharing and storage without needing your IT department to oversee, maintain or back up the activity.
What are the benefits of cloud services?
Using cloud computing services, subscribers access online resources through workstations, laptops, tablets and smartphones that are configured to protect the data and assets hosted on the cloud. With a pay-as-you-go model, cloud services offer a low-cost way to accommodate spikes in demand more efficiently than in-house computing services.
How are cloud services used?
The power, flexibility and agility of cloud services has led to a myriad of uses, with more being invented every day.
Email: Perhaps the first cloud service ever offered, email doesn’t require any software to be installed on a local device to be able to use it. The application itself is hosted on the cloud – an SaaS use case.
Big Data analytics: Big Data refers to the huge amounts of information that businesses such as Amazon and Facebook collect to understand human buying behaviour. Now, most companies use their own customer data to make decisions on sales, marketing, R&D and more. Using cloud services to store, manage and analyse this data offers a powerful advantage – an IaaS use case.
Software development: Because of the cloud’s flexibility, users can build environments, test them and tear them down quickly. What previously took months to provision can now take just a few minutes, which is a perfect scenario for highly iterative processes, such as software development. With PaaS, developers do not need to bother with maintenance, so they’re free to concentrate on development.
Backup and disaster recovery: Using IaaS, you can access nearly unlimited storage space with built-in data lifecycle management policies. Using a deep data storage service, you can implement a data backup and archive process for any data that is over 30 days old. Just like that, as long as you have access to the internet, you have access to the data no matter what happens to your facility.
Web hosting: Organisations often use IaaS for web hosting so they can balance the traffic load across multiple servers, and scale up and down quickly and automatically as traffic fluctuates. The ability to provision and implement automatic scaling simplifies the whole process and takes out much of the administrative input and maintenance required.
What types of cloud services are available?
The following are the three main types of cloud computing services available. In each case, the service providers maintain the underlying cloud infrastructure. Other computing resources can be handled by the provider or not, as required by the subscriber’s needs.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Providers offer subscribers the use of their software running on a cloud infrastructure, which means the application can be widely distributed and accessed. Common types of business technologies hosted by the SaaS vendor include productivity suites, customer relationship management (CRM) software, human resources management (HRM) software and data management software. Users have the option of accessing the application(s) through a program interface or a thin client interface, such as a web browser. With this service, subscribers are limited to access and use of the software only. The provider handles everything else: managing and controlling the network, servers, operating systems, storage, virtualisation, data, middleware and even individual application capabilities. SaaS apps are usually designed to be simple to use for a wider audience.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
With PaaS, users have a bit more control than with SaaS because users gain access to a framework from the operating system up. PaaS allows users to place their own applications onto the cloud infrastructure, with programming languages, libraries, services and tools supported by the provider. The subscriber has control over the deployed applications, data and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment. But the network, servers, operating systems and storage are managed and controlled by the provider.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Using IaaS, subscribers can architect an entire environment by configuring a virtual network that is segmented from other networks. Within this environment, users run an operating system and provision the processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources needed to run software on the cloud infrastructure. With IaaS, the subscriber may also have limited control of select networking components (e.g. host firewalls). Some providers will also offer services such as monitoring, automation, security, load balancing and storage resiliency.
Everything as a Service (XaaS)
There are several other service models defined as XaaS, which do not strictly fit in the above three categories. They are essentially anything as a service and are often limited to narrower offerings. Disaster Recovery as a Service, Communications as a Service and Monitoring as a Service are good examples.
HPE cloud services
HPE can provide end-to-end cloud ecosystem solutions as well as services to help you achieve business goals quickly and efficiently. From containers to virtual machines to database platforms, we have proven, industry-leading solutions to help you build the right cloud system for your organisation.
For example, HPE Pointnext services can help you with your digital transformation. Our experts provide the guidance you need to plan, engineer and accelerate your cloud computing implementation with the technology and platforms that suit your workloads.
And HPE GreenLake offers cloud services to help customers deploy resources rapidly, scale up and down as capacity needs fluctuate, and keep an eye on costs. With our leading and fully managed cloud services, you can offload IT operations and free up resources to help you provision your data centres and applications with fewer staff.
HPE Alletra simplifies the way you manage resources and redefines the support experience with a unified data platform from edge to cloud that delivers consistent data services, unified management and seamless data mobility. And because it is powered by HPE InfoSight, you can achieve autonomous infrastructure with predictive intelligence across your IT.
HPE also offers hyperconverged infrastructure that delivers simplicity, efficiency and economy for your entire environment. With an intelligent hyperconverged infrastructure from HPE, you can accelerate innovation and time to market by streamlining operations, consolidating workloads and protecting your data.