Cloud Computing Solutions

Cloud computing solutions combine one or more service models with a deployment model in order to deliver needed IT resources in the most efficient manner possible.

Service Models
There are three basic cloud computing service models. These models can be deployed separately or in combination:


  • Software as a Service (SaaS)—An increasing number and diversity of software applications are now available to businesses and organizations by accessing a cloud hosted on a service provider’s infrastructure. Some common application types available via the cloud include:
    • Calendaring
    • E-mail
    • Customer relationship management
    • Human resources management
    • IT service management
    • Spam filtering
    • Intrusion prevention
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—IaaS enables businesses and organizations to obtain needed IT infrastructure from a cloud services provider—often via a self-service catalog—rather than deploying new data center equipment. The cloud services provider manages the infrastructure, including scaling up or down as needed. Examples include remote backup solutions and on-demand platforms based on technologies such as VMware.
  • Platform as a Service (Paas)—PaaS caters to software developers, offering up the entire computing platform and solutions stack needed to create and support an application. PaaS allows companies to deploy acquired or custom applications without incurring a range of upfront and ongoing costs associated with the underlying infrastructure, including provisioning, maintenance, and management.


Cloud computing is a combination of software and computing delivered as a service. It provides a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Pooling these resources allows businesses and organizations rapidly to provide staff with access to the applications, infrastructure, or platforms they need to perform their jobs effectively. Moreover, the resources can be accessed via a simple front-end interface, such as a Web browser, and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Depending on the deployment model in use, organizations can even contract cloud solutions on a utility basis, paying only for what they use.

Cloud solutions are not virtualization per se; rather, they represent a further evolution of the strategic principles of virtualization. One of the most attractive benefits cloud computing offers is its ability to scale resources on the fly—upward to meet rising demand and back down again as need subsides. The flexibility cloud computing provides, even in the face of unpredictable usage spikes, creates unprecedented levels of operational efficiency

How Can I Help My Business Embrace Cloud Computing Solutions?
When considering a cloud computing solution, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    • What IT resources are required for your employees to remain effective and efficient?
    • How quickly is your company currently able to provision and scale those identified IT resources—whether software, platforms, or infrastructure?
    • What is the total cost to your company of provisioning and maintaining IT resources?
    • Which needed IT resources could be pooled for greater efficiency and cost savings?
    • What deployment model would provide the best fit for your company’s specific needs?


What Does Cloud Computing Look Like?

To understand cloud computing, first consider software resources as an example. Software typically is loaded onto individual computers or client devices. With cloud, that same software is instead loaded onto a back-end server. The server can be located within a company’s own data center or in that of a third-party service provider. Using a simple Web interface, such as a browser, users are able to access the software from any client device, including desktops, laptops, and mobile phones.

The software is thereby provided to the user as a service. Infrastructure and platforms can be similarly provided from back-end resources via user-friendly menus and management tools. The term cloud simply paints a picture of how various IT needs can be served up to users and networks in a virtualized manner. How Will Cloud Computing Benefit My Business? A cloud computing solution can help your company achieve multiple benefits, including: Reduced hardware, software, maintenance, and management costs Rapid provisioning of resources and on-the-fly scalability More efficient use of limited IT staff Increased employee productivity