IaaS, SaaS, PaaS – What Do All These Cloud Words Mean?

IaaS, SaaS, PaaS - What Do All These Cloud Words Mean?

Many industries have a wide array of acronyms they employ in order to define certain industry-specific concepts, products, and services, and the field of information technology is no exception. While technology experts are typically well-versed in the meaning of the various IT acronyms, for the average layperson, they can present a definite challenge.

Of course, in order to determine which technology services will deliver the best results for a business, it’s important to understand all the various options available. In this post, we will discuss three acronyms used to define cloud services, specifically, IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, to bring about a clear understanding of what these services have to offer to a variety of corporate settings.

Defining IaaS

IaaS is an acronym for “infrastructure as a service”

Companies who decide to select this type of service often do so because they don’t want to invest in substantial amounts of hardware in order to support their various software packages and apps. Instead, they invest in cloud services such as virtualization and server space to meet their needs. Buying hardware does mean more accessibility and control, however it also comes with a hefty price tag that smaller companies often find off-putting.

While IaaS provides the benefit of reduced costs and the time involved in maintaining hardware,  business owners are still responsible for maintaining their software. This means they either must have some degree of technological expertise to manage this on their own, or they need a dedicated IT person or perhaps a team to provide software support.

Defining SaaS

SaaS stands for “software as a service”

SaaS allows smaller companies to take advantage of pre-built cloud-based apps that have a defined purpose.  Rather than creating a custom software package to perform a task, smaller companies can simply incorporate third-party apps such as Dropbox for their file sharing requirements, or they can use Shopify if they need an eCommerce site platform. While outsourcing certain tasks does have certain advantages in that it may allow companies to get a certain project up and running faster, and they won’t be responsible for maintaining third party applications, there are some downsides.

Employing third-party software apps means a business will have little to no opportunity to customize the app to suit their specific needs.  They also have no control over third-party apps, which lessens their degree of control over potential security issues as well.  In addition, integration may be challenging with SaaS, since third party software may not work with a company’s current overall platform, or a new platform if they decide to change at some point in the future.

PaaS

Last but not least, PaaS stands for “platform as a service”

If a company wants customized software to meet their needs, PaaS  can provide them with the cloud-based tools they need to build their own customized software. With PaaS, developers are given access to a vast library of pre-built elements, so they don’t need to code every process from scratch. Developing, testing, and deploying all happen in one environment, making it generally faster and easier to pump out software applications.

A downside to PaaS is that it is not a good option for companies who work with confidential data, which they may be required to keep on-site by law. Also, for businesses who already have some existing frameworks they would like to keep, this may present a significant challenge when trying to integrate them into a new PaaS platform.  

We’re Here to Help

When it comes to cloud-based platforms and services, there truly isn’t one right or wrong solution. The beauty of having the options such as PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS, is that it allows companies to choose the best solution to meet their specific needs.

If you would like more information on how to select the right cloud-based services for your unique setting, please contact us.

Moving to the Cloud? Nail Down The Contract First

Moving to the Cloud? Nail Down The Contract First
Move to the Cloud Nail Down the Contract

Cloud computing has several advantages for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows easier access to company applications and software while on-the-go. It also frees up small companies to focus on growing their business, rather than getting bogged down maintaining their own technology resources. However, just because a business decides to hire an outside provider to manage their cloud resources, it doesn’t mean they are off the hook when it comes to protecting their most valuable asset — their corporate data.

When interviewing various cloud providers, there are several key points to consider before signing on the dotted line.

Physical Attacks

Just as any in-house servers would be vulnerable to fire, flood, power outages, or a natural disaster, so would the servers of any cloud provider managing a company’s cloud data. Since an organization’s data is the lifeblood of their company, it is critically important to feel comfortable with a potential cloud provider’s plan for protecting data in the case of these types of occurrences.

Security

Of course, it’s no secret that threats to external hackers and data breaches must be addressed, but there are internal threats as well. Just as it is important for companies to limit who is able to access what data within their own group of employees, so it is with any cloud provider they might hire as well. When interviewing potential providers, it’s important for both parties to clearly understand which provider employees will be given access to the client’s data.

A small business should feel comfortable that their cloud provider has strong measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, whether the access is attempted either internally or externally. If a breach or data loss does occur, there must be a clear understanding of what steps the provider will take to recover and correct the situation.

Costs and Flexibility

Of course, it’s very important to have a clear understanding of all the set-up costs associated with transitioning to a cloud provider, as well as long-term billing expectations. Another important factor to consider is whether a cloud provider uses any proprietary technology to service their clients. If they do, it could be difficult to transition to another provider if a small business decides their current provider is not a good fit.

For additional tips about signing a contract with a cloud provider, please contact us.

Cloud Computing – The Future of Disaster Recovery

Cloud Computing - The Future of Disaster Recovery
Cloud Computing

Disasters happen. Whether they be natural or man-made – hurricanes that flood your company’s headquarters or viruses that contaminate your IT department’s servers – the consequences can be devastating.

Studies have shown that 43% of companies that cannot retrieve their data due to a disaster strike never reopen and that 29% of these companies close within two years.

How can your business protect itself in the face of these inevitable calamities? Look to the clouds! Cloud computing offers cost-effective solutions to help your business recover lost data and resume normal operations effectively and efficiently.

Despite its lofty nomenclature, cloud computing is really a down-to-earth concept. In simple terms, cloud computing means relying on the Internet – rather than on hardware – to store the information and programs that are vital to your business. This system allows you to access integral data remotely – an especially handy benefit if, say, your hard drives are corrupted.

Cloud computing, therefore, is essential to disaster recovery. A cloud-based system allows you to make a virtual copy of your company’s server – including the operating system, data, software, and other information contained therein. Because it stores this virtual copy on the Internet, no hardware is required. And if no hardware is required, none can be compromised.

When it comes to disaster recovery, cloud computing can save your business more than just time and money – it can flat out save your business. Even if your headquarters had been located in Pompeii on the day that Vesuvius erupted, cloud computing would have made it possible for you to restart your business (hopefully in a volcano-free zone) with a minimal outlay of money, time, and effort.

Disasters happen. But when they do, cloud computing allows your business to look to the sky and keep its feet on the ground.

The Best Business Benefits of Cloud IT Solutions

The Best Business Benefits of Cloud IT Solutions
Benefits of Cloud IT Solutions

Migrating to cloud IT solutions can make your business safer, more future-proof, and more productive. Here are the best business benefits of the service:

Business Continuity

What happens to your business if you get hit by a snow storm in the winter or a hurricane in the summer? With cloud IT solutions, the answer is: not much.

Off-site backups are a great thing. They insure your business against physical harm in case something ever happens to your office. You can more or less remove business downtime from the equation.

Modern Security to Protect Against Modern Hackers

You need current technology to protect your business against current attacks. With cloud IT solutions, you’ll protect your business against data breach now and in the coming years. As the attacks become more sophisticated, so will the technology behind your service.

Flexibility Moving Forward

Who knows how much storage you’ll need in a few years? Alternatively, many businesses experience busy seasons in the summer or winter. With cloud IT solutions, you can always scale your plan up or down so you’re paying for just the right amount of storage. As your needs change, you can update your plan.

Mobile Employees

If your employees spend a lot of time out of the office, then you can let them access their files with cloud IT solutions. This also opens the door to who you can hire, since employees will essentially be able to work from home.

Collaboration

By storing your files and data on the cloud, you can make it easier for employees to collaborate. In general, the more employees work together, the bigger the projects they can complete. Cloud IT solutions make collaboration easy and practical.

Environmentally Friendly

Forget about buying traditional servers that take up lots of physical space. You can reduce your carbon footprint by getting cloud IT solutions and losing your servers. Prospective customers will appreciate your decision to protect the environment.

Cost Savings

Economies of scale make cloud IT solutions relatively cost-effective. This is the same reason why car manufacturers can produce affordable vehicles while it would cost a fortune to put one together yourself. Let the cloud services provider focus on IT while you invest in your core operations.

For more information about the benefits of cloud IT solutions, contact us today.

Backup Your Computer With These Cloud Computing Tips

Backup Your Computer With These Cloud Computing Tips

In the business world, there are plenty of ways you can backup your data and keep it safe from threats. As an example, some people use a USB flash drive for securing their data, while others use cloud computing. Speaking of which, the latter option is one of the best ways to backup your computer data. Here are a few cloud computing tips to back up your computer and stay safe.

Cloud Computing tips

First of all, when you store your data via cloud computing, it’s impossible for that info to be physically lost. If a flash drive is one of your common storage methods, for example, it’s easy for the device to get misplaced or stolen. Flash drives aren’t particularly large, after all. With cloud computing, however, you never have to worry about losing track of your stored information.

Another benefit of using cloud computing to backup your computer, is that your data is accessible from anywhere, and an attack on your hard drive would have no affect on it. For example, let’s say that your computer became infected with ransomware, and your files were threatened with deletion. You could still access stored copies of your files from any device that has Internet connection. The biggest factor in these attacks isn’t destroying your computer, but erasing your valuable info. In the long run, cloud computing makes your data pretty much untouchable.

For more information about the best way to backup your computer, feel free to contact us today at AE technology Group. We look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in the best way possible.