Companies are seizing on Cloud as the key enabler to complete their digital transformation, and the COVID pandemic has further accelerated this mandate. Cloud is becoming a top C-suite agenda item as businesses are transitioning from a piece-meal approach to a more holistic end-to-end digital transformation with Cloud at its core. The winners of tomorrow will be the ones that navigate this change rapidly, make the right choices and engage with the appropriate partners to augment their own capabilities.

Cloud computing can be deployed in different ways depending on what services a business needs. The first thing to consider is the deployment model—public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. The next element is the service category—Saas (Software as a Service), Paas (Platform as a Service) and Iaas (Infrastructure as a service). When a company is considering its cloud migration strategy, it must consider both factors.

Deployment Models

Public Cloud
Connecting to a public cloud means using an internet connection to access computing resources hosted on data centers managed by a third-party cloud service provider, rather than owning and maintaining these resources on-premise. A shared public cloud has many organizations (or tenants) sharing the same infrastructure.

The largest cloud service providers with data centers that enable massive scaling are called hyperscalers. The big four hyperscalers, collectively referred to as MAAGs, are: Microsoft (Azure)Amazon (Amazon Web Services or AWS)Alibaba (Alicloud), and Google (Google Cloud).

Private Cloud
This cloud model is great for organizations concerned about sharing resources on a public cloud. It is implemented on servers owned and maintained by the organization and accessed over the internet or through a private internal network.

A private cloud environment gives you complete control over data and security in order to meet specific regulatory and other compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA for healthcare, GDPR, GxP for Pharma, etc.).

Hybrid Cloud
Many organizations actually use a combination of several cloud environments. This is referred to as a hybrid cloud approach. Hybrid cloud often includes a combination of public cloud and private cloud, frequently in combination with some on-premise infrastructure. To create a true hybrid cloud architecture, you must set up communication or orchestration between the various deployments.

Hybrid cloud eliminates reliance on any single cloud provider and allows for additional levels of flexibility in terms of capabilities, security compliance, etc.

In the past, choosing a hyper-scaler meant picking public over private. This is no longer the case. To support regulatory, performance, and data gravity requirements, the hyper-scalers are now offering private cloud carveouts in public environments. VMware on AWS (VMC), Azure VMware Services (AVS), and Google’s SAP, Oracle and Bare Metal solutions are good examples. Similarly, the hyper-scalers have been working on private cloud extensions. This blurring of public and private under a hybrid cloud umbrella is likely to accelerate in the future. Over time, we will no longer see a delineation between “public” and “private” but instead, between “dedicated” and “shared.”

A multi-cloud approach is a particular case of hybrid cloud in which an organization uses services from multiple public cloud providers.

Service Categories

Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most commonly used cloud application service and is becoming a dominant way for organizations to access software applications.

With SaaS, an organization accesses a specific software application hosted on a remote server and managed by a third-party provider. On a subscription basis, the application is accessed through a web browser, reducing the need for on-device software downloads or updates. Popular SaaS products include Salesforce, Workday, or Microsoft Office 365.

How is cloud applied?

Software as a Service (SaaS)
Businesses should use SaaS if they’re looking to quickly and easily enable cloud system access with minimal database management, development and/or service provider interaction. SaaS is suitable for applications that require web and mobile access, short-term projects requiring quick collaboration, and startups that need to quickly launch ecommerce websites without server issues or software development.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is a popular choice for businesses who want to create unique applications without making major financial investments.

With PaaS, an organization accesses a pre-defined environment for software development that can be used to build, test, and run applications. This means that developers don’t need to start from scratch when creating apps. PaaS allows the developer to focus on the creative side of software development, as opposed to tedious tasks such as writing extensive code or managing software updates or security patches. Examples of PaaS products include Google App Engine, web servers, and SQL servers.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the simplest option for businesses. With IaaS, an organization migrates its hardware—renting servers and data storage in the cloud rather than purchasing and maintaining its own infrastructure.

IaaS provides an organization with the same technologies and capabilities as a traditional data center, including full control over server instances. System administrators within the business are responsible for managing aspects such as databases, applications, runtime, security, etc., while the cloud provider manages the servers, hard drives, networking, storage, etc.

In conclusion Cloud computing is BIG! Like if you don’t learn cloud computing you have a big whole in your IT career. Lets all ensure we learn the cloud and get certified! We will all be better for it.

Keep learning! JT

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