Computing as a
service over the Internet
Cloud computing, often referred to as simply “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources—everything from applications to data centres—over the Internet and on a pay-for-use basis.
Scale up or down quickly and easily to meet demand
Pay for use
Metered service usage so you only pay for what you use
All the IT resources you need with self-service access
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Cloud computing services
Software as a service (SaaS)
Cloud-based applications—or software as a service (SaaS)—run on distant computers “in the cloud” that are owned and operated by others and that connect to users’ computers via the Internet and, usually, a web browser.
For example, Google’s gmail is a cloud-based SaaS application that replaces traditional email programs that run on your computer, like Outlook or Eudora.
What are the advantages of SaaS cloud applications?
First, there’s no software to purchase, install, update or maintain, which is handled by the service providers. As well:
- You can sign up and start using cloud apps in minutes
- Apps and data are accessible from any connected computer
- No data is lost if your computer breaks, as data is in the cloud
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a service provides a cloud-based environment with everything required to support the complete lifecycle of building and delivering web-based (cloud) applications—without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting.
With PaaS you can:
- Develop applications and get to market faster
- Deploy new web applications to the cloud in minutes
- Reduce complexity with middleware as a service
IBM’s platform-as-a-service offering, IBM SmartCloud Application Services, enables users to deploy and migrate applications to both public and private clouds.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a service provides companies with computing resources including servers, networking, storage, and data centre space on a pay-per-use basis.
The advantages of “renting” these “virtual resources” over traditional on-premise IT includes:
- On demand and elastic services—quickly scale up or down
- Self-service, automated provisioning and de-provisioning
- Reduced costs from economies of scale and resource pooling
- Pay-for-use—costs based on metered service usage
These compelling benefits are key factors to what makes cloud technology revolutionary. Businesses can reduce IT capital expense (CapEx) investments, while gaining true agility—the ability to adopt new capabilities quickly—as well as the ability to use IT to drive fundamental business innovation.
IBM’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering, IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, delivers highly secure and flexible, enterprise-class on-demand virtual resources.
Cloud computing deployment models
Public clouds are owned and operated by companies that use them to offer rapid access to affordable computing resources to other organisations or individuals. With public cloud services, users don’t need to purchase hardware, software or supporting infrastructure, which is owned and managed by providers.
Many businesses are using software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivered from the public cloud for applications ranging from customer resource management (CRM)—like Salesforce.com—to transaction management and data analytics.
Beyond SaaS applications, companies are using other public cloud services, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to add more storage or compute services on a moment’s notice, and platform as a service (PaaS) for cloud-based application development and deployment environments.
A private cloud is owned and operated by a single company that controls the way virtualised resources and automated services are customized and used by various lines of business and constituent groups. Private clouds exist to take advantage of many of cloud’s efficiencies, while providing more control of resources and steering clear of multi-tenancy.
Key characteristics of private clouds include:
- A self-service interface that controls common services, allowing IT staff to quickly provision, allocate and deliver on-demand IT resources
- Highly automated management of resource pools for everything from compute capability to storage, analytics, and middleware
- Sophisticated security and governance designed for a company’s specific requirements
IBM SmartCloud Foundation is our family of integrated, proven technologies for building secure private and hybrid clouds.
A hybrid cloud uses a private cloud foundation combined with the strategic use of public cloud services. The reality is a private cloud can’t exist in isolation from the rest of a company’s IT resources and the public cloud. Most companies with private clouds will evolve to manage workloads across data centres, private clouds and public clouds—thereby creating hybrid clouds.
Evolving to a hybrid cloud strategy will allow companies to keep critical line of business applications and sensitive data in a traditional data centre environment or private cloud, while also taking advantage of public cloud resources like SaaS for the latest applications and IaaS for elastic, economical virtual resources to scale.
The key factor for hybrid cloud success
The ability to efficiently and securely manage the combination of public and private cloud services as a single unified computing environment is the key capability to fully taking advantage of the cloud—and it’s where the IBM SmartCloud excels.
IBM SmartCloud Foundation is IBM’s family of integrated, proven technologies for building secure private and hybrid clouds.
Rethink IT. Reinvent Business.
IBM SmartCloud is a family of integrated enterprise-class cloud computing technologies and services for securely building and using private, public and hybrid clouds. Built upon open standards combined with deep IBM expertise and best practices, SmartCloud is designed for complex high-performance computing environments. SmartCloud goes beyond securely delivering new cloud efficiencies and cost savings to drive fundamental innovation for lasting marketplace advantage.