Cloud computing is being touted as the solution to every business, power, and application problem that a business has, but often without a corresponding explanation as to why. Although predictions show that companies will increase IT spending by 60% over the next four years, exactly what they are going to be doing with their money is unclear, and this is due to the nebulous nature of this thing we call “the cloud.”
In the IT world, the cloud often referred to an unknown, a place where things happened but not within the purview of a company, and this place was typically the Internet. Now, VPS storage options are often mistakenly called clouds because of their distance from the user, but they are in fact a known quantity. No reliable definition of the cloud yet exists, but there are a number of items that exist on the cloud, most commonly PaaS, SaaS and IaaS.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) options are hardware resources, like power and storage, that companies can access through providers to get rid of, or minimize, their use of physical server technology. Platform as a service (PaaS) choices or platform clouds are those that offer computational resources for use by companies to develop applications or services from a distance. Software as a Service (SaaS) clouds offer a single application as a service which may include functions of both IaaS and PaaS in its makeup.
Together, these three types of computing make up the backbone of what is currently being developed on the market as the new face of cloud computing. While the technology has a bright future, more education and further testing on a broad scale is needed to foster more widespread adoption.