Digital Themes

Cloud Deployment

What is cloud deployment?

Cloud deployment is the utilization of cloud environments to run applications through the use of different models, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (Paas), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). By utilizing a cloud solution, organizations can help reduce capital expenditures (CAPEX) and allow for flexible operational costs (OPEX) in response to changing needs. Cloud deployments allow for computing resources to be moved away from a company’s physical location and exist entirely on a cloud platform. By doing so, businesses can access improved computing power through the use of multiple servers, utilize online virtual machines, and take advantage of online data centers for increased storage ability.  

Cloud deployment also allows for different computing environments, including public cloud, private cloud, community cloud, and hybrid.

A public cloud deployment model, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), is available to the general public and will run on third-party servers. Public clouds are managed by the service provider, meaning they take care of all the software and hardware, making it generally easy to use and scale as needed. Benefits of a public cloud model include:

  • Highly scalable: Because the operating system and cloud infrastructure are managed by the provider, it is easy to scale the capacity of a given program as needed.

  • Lower costs: Organizations need only pay for what they use, without having to invest in physical hardware or expensive software licenses.

  • Reliable uptime: Public could platforms are used by many different organizations, so keeping a consistent uptime is important, with most provider’s able to offer above 99% uptime.

A private cloud platform is used by a single company or organization, but otherwise functions very similarly to a public cloud. A private cloud is most often used for securing sensitive data, and often uses multiple firewalls. Generally, there will be a dedicated cloud server that cannot be accessed by anyone from outside of the organization. Benefits of a private cloud include:

  • Increased security: Private clouds use a designated private network and higher security practices, such as requiring a virtual private network (VPN) to access the data.

  • Customized services: Rather than being limited to the services offered on a public cloud, private clouds generally allow for more complex and customized solutions.

A community cloud model is similar to a private cloud, but rather than allowing only one organization access, several organizations with similar backgrounds will share the infrastructure, while simultaneously maintaining higher security than a public cloud. Community cloud advantages include:

  • Reduced costs: Rather than one company having to bear the costs of dedicated cloud servers, it can be shared across multiple companies.

  • Easy data sharing: Organizations that share a community cloud can easily share data between them, without having to compromise on security.

A hybrid cloud model allows for a combination of the above models (public, private, and community) as needed by organizations to find the solution that best meets their needs. For example, they could secure sensitive data on a private cloud, while hosting non-critical data on a private cloud. Benefits of a hybrid model include:

  • Minimized expenses: By utilizing different models, companies can ensure they are getting the best price by only paying premium prices on the data and services that require it.

  • Increased flexibility: It is easy to move from one cloud model to another as the needs of the business change, while simultaneously maintaining necessary security standards.
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