Your Knowledge Base about Cloud Computing

Cloud Lexicon

From scalable cloud servers to cloud email applications, we understand that grasping the entire concept of cloud computing can be daunting. We designed the ProfitBricks lexicon to be a simple go-to source for education on different cloud offerings. With a better knowledge, users may select which aspect of cloud computing is most suited for their business needs, whether it is IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, or cloud storage. Please browse through the topics below and click the link underneath each to learn more.

What is Cloud Computing?

The fundamental idea behind cloud computing involves taking products and converting them into services. Cloud computing incorporates different aspects of computing, such as networking infrastructure, software, and storage, all while delivering those products as a service with a pay-as-you-go pricing structure. The user’s data is stored at a remote location, accessible through the Internet. Service providers manage all of the infrastructure and/or software for users, freeing up the customers’ time to focus on other critical tasks and processes. Numerous vendors store data in multiple datacenters that are geographically dispersed in different regions in the US and the rest of the world. This way, if a natural disaster or power outage occurs locally, users can still access their data in the cloud via another datacenter.

What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS for short) is the backbone of cloud computing. Rather than purchasing an expensive datacenter, labor, real estate, and all of the utilities to maintain it, users rent space in a virtual data center from an IaaS provider. They have access to the virtual data center via the Internet, known as the cloud. This segment of cloud computing provides the raw materials for IT, and users only pay for the equipment they use, including (but not limited to) CPU cores, RAM, hard disk space, and data transfer; think ProfitBricks, Amazon EC2, or Rackspace Cloud. All three providers allow users to rent virtual servers.

What is Platform as a Service (PaaS)?

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a solution for building, testing, deploying and managing custom-built applications in the cloud. This vertical of cloud computing is gaining momentum because it allows developers to focus solely on application development. With PaaS, there is no need to buy, configure, or manage the underlying infrastructure; PaaS providers often partner with IaaS providers to host their platform(s) on the infrastructure backbone from development to deployment.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud Storage is an offering that allows users to back up data to a server; hosted by a cloud service provider. This data is then available through any Internet-connected device via a user interface that is provided by the cloud vendor. Physical data storage, such as an external hard drive, can be lost or damaged. The physical data is at constant risk. Data in the cloud however, exists somewhat abstractly and cannot be fractured. Most service providers also offer redundant storage; in the unlikely chance one of their datacenters is hit by a natural disaster or power outage, the data will still be safe and available to the user through an identical storage in a separate datacenter. The result is a fast storage system that exists in at least three spaces at any given time. Most datacenters allow (at least) two highly secure physical spaces, along with the cloud/internet environment where users access their data.

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, describes the processes of using software online through cloud computing instead of purchasing and installing it on a local computer hard drive. SaaS products can be broken up into consumer and enterprise segments. Common SaaS applications for consumer use are Gmail or Google Docs, both free of charge and accessible through a web browser. Some popular SaaS applications for enterprise use are Netsuite and Salesforce.com, which help companies more efficiently run segments of their business.