Cloud Computing Primer

What is software-as-a-service (SaaS)?

Basically SaaS is a software deployment model in which an application is delivered and managed as a service by a vendor such as DataHive to meet the needs of multiple customers simultaneously. SaaS solutions are delivered via a network, most often the Internet. They are priced on a subscription service basis, often based on the number of users.

What is platform-as-a-service (PaaS)?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a way to rent hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity over the Internet. The service delivery model allows the customer to rent virtualized servers and associated services for running existing applications or developing and testing new ones. Generally, PaaS focuses on enabling SaaS applications.

What is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)?

IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing service. The other two are Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Infrastructure as a Service is a provision model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. The client typically pays on a per-use basis.

What is a rich internet application (RIA)?

Modern web browsers have fast script engines and rich graphics and plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash, to extend their capabilities. A rich internet application has applications running in the browser that have rich graphics and the kind of sophisticated user interface that at one time would only have been possible in a locally installed desktop application.

What is multi-tenancy?

Cloud-hosted applications where multiple customers share a single application is multi-tenancy. Customers only have access to their own data. Multi-tenancy is the most cost-effective form of cloud computing, since the software itself is shared.

What is the difference between public, private and hybrid clouds?

Some organizations, especially larger ones, want the benefits of cloud computing but without the risks inherent in trusting their data to a third party. They can achieve this by creating a cloud-like infrastructure in their own data centre. This is called a private cloud. DataHive has a private cloud. The public cloud refers to providers such as Amazon, Google and salesforce.com, whose shared services are available to all. A hybrid approach uses both public and private services.

What is virtualization?

Emulating computer hardware in software, so that one or more emulated computers can run simultaneously on a single physical computer. This is a boon for cloud computing: service providers can use hardware efficiently by running many virtual servers on each machine in a data centre. Sometimes virtual machines can be moved between company premises and cloud providers.

Is cloud computing green?

Cloud computing goes some way towards solving a problem called under-utilization, where servers run constantly with little computing load, wasting money and power. Service providers use virtualization and other techniques to make full use of their hardware.

Read about Lowered Costs, Increased Productivity and the Benefits of the Cloud.