Components of Cloud Computing

Submitted 2/24/2013 by Kaloyan Georgiev

As cloud computing gets more and more famous, everyone seems to have a different definition about it. Some say it’s virtual servers available over the internet, others say it’s anything beyond the big firewall is part of the cloud. So, without further guesses, let’s see which are the components of cloud computing:

  1. SaaS – the software as a service delivers a single app to many customers through their browsers. For the client this means less cost, no need to buy and install expensive servers, professional software support and many more pros. About the provider it means less cost compared to conventional hosting (since there’s only one app to maintain).
  2. PaaS – a variation of the SaaS, the Platform as a Service provides the customer with a virtual platform, which is a development environment, where customers can develop their own applications, which are then delivered to the users through the web from the provider’s servers. The customers don’t get complete freedom in developing their apps, but then again – developing is easier, faster and cheaper.
  3. Web services in the cloud – this component is all about offering APIs that gives developers the opportunity to exploit the service’s functionality over the web rather than creating a full-blown application. A good example of web service in the cloud is the full range of API’s offered by Google Maps.
  4. MSP – managed service providers is one of the oldest forms of cloud computing and is an application exposed to IT rather then to the end users. Such applications are the antivirus scanning apps for e-mails, application monitoring services, desktop management services, anti-spam services etc.
  5. SMP – the service commerce platforms are hybrids of SaaS and MSP and offers a service hub, which users can interact with. As an automated service bureaus, SMP allows users to order specific services from a common platform, which then coordinates the delivery and the pricing depending on specifications set by the user.