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What Is Cloud Infrastructure And Why Should I Care?

Laura Pisano,

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To achieve Digital Transformation, we often hear that "Cloud is the key". So let's find out what Cloud infrastructure really is.

What is Cloud computing?

In computer science, Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management  (Mell, P. & Grance, T., The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing).

When talking about Cloud Computing, there will always be a pyramid of three diverse services, each one built on top of the other:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): IaaS provides hardware, software, network and data resources for those who want to manage and configure a Cloud infrastructure system
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): In this case, the service is the use of the same platform with several services, programs, libraries, etc. to develop, run and manageapplications
  • SaaS (Service as a Service): It's an application software distribution model where a software developer develops, operates (directly or through third parties) and manages a web application that is made available to its customers via the internet.

In this article we will focus on IaaS, Paas and on infrastructure management and platforms. (For more information about future technologies based on Digital Transformation, download our FREE ebook now: "2017 IT Trends: Digital Transformation")

IaaS is a service that virtualizes hardware, basically freeing the user from the burden of hardware management. There are several companies on the market that offer Cloud services as a service, some of which allow building your own infrastructure and selling it to third parties, giving them the option of administering it.

Cloud PaaS, on the other hand, represents the next step in the Cloud pyramid. It allows you to buy (or offer, depending on the role you have on the market) a platform accessible online, such as Business Intelligence, that has specific computational resources. This allows you freedom of mind as the one who buys the platform will have an ever-active service without having to worry about infrastructure.

It's important to understand that there are major products on the market that allow you to have not just a public Cloud, but also a private Cloud.

What are the advantages of a Cloud infrastructure?

Cloud computing allows companies and organizations to access IT infrastructures in a new way, free from the concept of ownership and investment.

With Cloud, it totally changes the paradigm of how applications are released, from vertical to horizontal development. The machine's capacity (whether physical or virtual) can adjust itself based on the current needs without bothering users. This allows for better performance.

That's why it's important to consider the Cloud infrastructure. This is not just a new technology architecture, but a new way of thinking about IT; it's based on results instead of resource ownership.

This greater flexibility allows businesses to free their resources and capabilities, both human and financial, with the aim of promoting new innovative digital projects, as well as providing better support for business initiatives and the promotion of new operating models.

Cloud computing can thus bring great benefits in terms of savings and efficiency and, at a higher value scale, offer the opportunity to innovate products and services through scalable and measurable models that are developing new business.

To help you better understand the potential of the Cloud, let's take the example of an e-commerce company.

ecommerce_or.jpg

An e-commerce company expects exponential increases in activity on some special days (e.g. Black Friday) or at specific times of the year, such as the sales or holiday period. The increase in access to the site will mean the need for increased computing and memory power, or risk losing opportunities.

The ideal situation, therefore, will be to have a scaling system available that fluctuates based on demand. This can be achieved with the Cloud. With Cloud, in fact, if you need to increase the computing power, you can rely on the auto-scale!

This is important for all companies that sell online services, since there shouldn't be any roadblocks to customers when they make purchases. The ability to increase the CPU and the available memory will definitely have a positive impact on the service delivery offered.

For more information about future technologies based on Digital Transformation, download our FREE ebook now: "2017 IT Trends: Digital Transformation"

Download now: 2017 IT Trends: Digital Transformation

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