Cloud refers to services and applications that are delivered and accessed over the internet, rather than being hosted on local hardware. This encompasses various services like storage, computing power, and databases that can be accessed on-demand, making it a flexible and scalable choice. Cloud solutions enable businesses to avoid the costs and complexities of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure.
Cloud solutions come in three primary service models:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. It offers a foundation of computing power, storage, and networking. Example: Microsoft Azure
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Offers a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure. Examples: Google App Engine, Heroku.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Delivers software applications over the internet. SaaS is widely used for business applications such as CRM, email, and virtual meetings. Example: Salesforce