Well, first off, I wanted to wish everybody a safe and Happy Fourth of July!!!

I do have to say that I am proud to have been born in the United States, and afforded the rights and liberties that our Forefathers fought so hard far.  One of the biggest liberties I can advocate for is having my own freelance tech writing business, even if it is just from the side of a day job.

Our last blog reviewed what the Cloud actually is, in a no nonsense, non techno jargon speak.  We examined how the Internet Service Provider (ISP) plays a large part of the Cloud, as well as its many benefits.  In today’s blog, we now get into the techno-jargon.  True, some of it may be boring, but it is important to have a grasp of what this stuff really means.

The Cloud actually consists of three primary layers:

  • The Infrastructure as a Service, also known as the IaaS:

This is the part of the platform in which you can consists of the hardware, storage, servers, network components, and if your business is large enough, it can even consist of a data center space.  Let us examine this aspect of the Cloud with an example.  Suppose for example you need a server for your business.  Well, rather than having to plunk down a large sum of money in order to get a real, physical one, you can actually rent one through the Cloud at a very nominal price.  For example, I have a Cloud based server which has all of my nifty writing technologies on it.  No doubt it is old; it runs on Windows 2008.  But I pay only $19.00 per month.  I have the look and feel of my own server, and so far, it meets my needs.  This can actually be termed as a “Virtualized Server”, and will review this concept in more detail in a later blog posting.

  • The Platform as a Service, also known as the PaaS:

This is the part of the Cloud which allows for the creation and storage of software development applications, whether they are actually created somewhere else and just  being stored at this level, or this level is actually being used for the sheer development of software apps.  For example, one of the most popular software development projects today is that of the mobile app.  Whatever you have a need for, there is a mobile app for it.  A developer may have created this somewhere else, but decided to store it into the PaaS.  Or, the software developer may decide to the PaaS for developing a mobile app from the ground up to its launch date.  One of the biggest advantages of using the PaaS is the availability of the immediate usage of “Sandboxes.”  This allows the developer to test their app or source code in a cut of the actual production environment.

  • The Software as a Service, also known as the SaaS:

This is the most popular platform of the Cloud.  With the SaaS, the Internet Service Provider actually hosts and licenses all of the software applications you could ever need or even imagine.  For example, suppose you need Microsoft Exchange as the E-Mail system for your business.  Rather than purchasing outright from Microsoft (which will cost you in the thousands of dollars), you can obtain a license and download a copy of it onto each server and workstation for a low monthly cost (such as $20.00/month/user).  This is also known as a “Pay As You Go” model; in other words, you just pay for the services that you need.

In our next blog, we will examine the SaaS in more detail (later blogs will also further analyze the PaaS and IaaS as well).  Until then, enjoy the fireworks and the barbeques!!!