What does it mean when we say Cloud Deployment?
To understand the meaning of cloud deployment, we have to take a step back and talk about Cloud Computing.
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user.
Instead of owning and maintaining physical IT structure (servers, data storage centers, etc.), you pay-as-you-go only for cloud services you use, be it computing power, storage, databases, or software, from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform for example.
Cloud deployment is defined in terms of service models and deployment models standardized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Cloud Deployment is the enablement of service models that may be accessed on demand by end-users depending on the cloud model, a type of cloud computing architecture where the solution will be implemented on. With cloud deployment, you are ensuring all the installation and configuration, the setups, are finished before someone can use the end product.
Cloud computing service models
There are three different cloud service models depending on the business requirement they aim to satisfy:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - the cloud provider manages IT infrastructures such as storage, server, and networking resources and delivers access to their clients over the internet. Examples: AWS EC2, Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Digital Ocean, etc.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) - the cloud provider hosts the hardware and software on its own infrastructure and delivers access to the client over the internet. Examples: Heroku, Google App Engine, OpenShift, Apache Stratos, Magento Commerce Cloud, etc.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) - the cloud provider hosts applications and makes them available to end-users over the internet. Examples: Google Apps, Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox, MailChimp, ZenDesk, DocuSign, etc.
Cloud computing deployment models
A cloud deployment model refers to a specific configuration of environmental parameters such as the accessibility and proprietorship of the deployment infrastructure. There are four main types:
- Public cloud - owned and operated by third-party cloud providers available to anyone who wants to use them. It can be free or sold on-demand.
- Private cloud - cloud providers also provide private solutions for those that want to have an additional layer of security or customized option specific to their needs.
- Community clouds - allow multiple organizations with similar development, security, management, and organizational needs to handle a single solution to reduce the costs.
- Hybrid cloud - combines previously mentioned models in any way suited to business needs.
Cloud computing benefits
Using cloud services means you don't have to buy and maintain your own infrastructure. It also means you can move faster with projects and tests without planning and worrying about support infrastructure. It means cutting upfront costs that come with those projects and tests.
But it is not necessarily cheaper or better, especially for businesses with long-term goals and security concerns. That is not to say that cloud computing is not secure, just that companies might feel much better having sensitive data on their infrastructure.
Further reading and references
If you want to dive deeper into Cloud Computing problematic visit the following pages:
The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing - https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-145/finalPractical Guide To Cloud Computing V3.0 - https://www.omg.org/cloud/deliverables/practical-guide-to-cloud-computing.htmWhat is cloud computing? by AWS - https://aws.amazon.com/what-is-cloud-computing/Cloud Academy course: What is Cloud Computing? - https://cloudacademy.com/course/what-is-cloud-computing-introductory/cloud-deployment-models/Cloud Deployment Models Overview - https://www.sam-solutions.com/blog/four-best-cloud-deployment-models-you-need-to-know/SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS: What’s The Difference & How To Choose - https://www.bmc.com/blogs/saas-vs-paas-vs-iaas-whats-the-difference-and-how-to-choose/