Cloud Services

What is “Cloud”?

There are many buzzwords in tech surrounding cloud computing. In the end, it comes down to making your data and applications accessible to your team anywhere. Because of the reduced cost of management and maintenance compared to a completely on-premises infrastructure, businesses are attracted to these solutions. Most businesses will have a balance of both cloud, and on-premises systems.

Cloud computing is often divided into several categories. Click below to learn more:

HaaS - Hardware as a Service

This was traditionally referred to as “dedicated server hosting”. A data center owns and rents a physical server unit for use by a single business. The business provides the OS, software, and configuration to the vendor, and the business is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of that server.

Another common form of this is leasing your equipment from another company. While not strictly a “cloud” service, it is often advertised as Hardware as a Service.

IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service

This has traditionally been known as VPS – Virtual Private Servers. In these services, a vendor rents the use of a virtual server. The physical server itself may have several virtual machines that are segregated and rented to different companies. Here, the vendor provides the operating system. It is up to the business to provide the software. The business is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of that virtual server, though the vendor also tends to assist with the administration when needed.

PaaS - Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service is a fairly new concept. In these services, the hardware, virtual machines, OS, and middleware (databases, security, etc) are maintained by your vendor. The business only needs to supply the software and configuration. The vendor is responsible then for all maintenance to the system on a day-to-day basis, but the business does assist in the administration when requested.

SaaS - Software as a Service

This is one of the newest concepts in cloud. Here, the vendor owns everything. These are true turn-key solutions for businesses where the hardware, infrastructure, platform, software, and data are all managed by the provider. The business will have access only to the end-user application itself.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud refers to a SaaS solution where the business manages the platform and software, and the users are presented with a locked-down web application or service. Self-hosted websites and email services are a great example.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned by outside companies and rent their services to various companies. These services are generally what come to mind when people think of cloud services. Webmail, file hosting, and hosted websites are examples of public clouds.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds are where the business and an external vendor own different parts of the solution. If your company uses Office365 and hosts and Exchange server internally, and those two systems are intertwined, that’s a hybrid cloud. Other solutions are using your Windows Domain as a Single-Sign-On (SSO) solution for a web service.

 Where to start with cloud?

TCSP offers cloud solutions from some of the largest and most reliable vendors in the cloud services space: