You can sum up cloud computing by narrowing it down into three distinct segments:
- Applications: On-demand applications are often referred to as software-as-a-service. Rather than spend thousands of dollars for traditional software packages that might include more functions than are necessary for your business, you can pay for an application that does specifically what you need it to do. Applications providers, or SAAS, often will charge you for using a specific function of an application or create an application that does what you want while separating out sister-like applications for others to rent. This can often be less expensive and more efficient than traditional software.
- Platforms: Unlike SAAS, platform as a service, or PAAS, allows you to purchase or lease server space on which to run your own applications. You typically lease the amount of server space that you need with the ability to upgrade or downgrade as necessary.
- Infrastructure: This segment of cloud computing is concerned with providing businesses the tools necessary to build their own applications. It involves the utilization of software tools that allow businesses to develop their own applications and sometimes provides the platform for hosting them as well. This can include data storage as well.
Now that you know the three distinct segments of cloud computing you can decide which segment is best suited to your computing environment.