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It seems everything sits in ‘the cloud’ these days.

Cloud computing and cloud storage refer to different processes with a common premise. They’re models for convenient access, on-demand, to configurable resources. They represent an environment in which many users can access many resources on a network.

The cloud computing stack applies to an array of services built upon one another. Parts of the cloud serve the user, from service, to platform, to infrastructure needed.

Main Types of Cloud Computing

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS refers to client-facing apps that third-party vendors deliver online. Usually, SaaS apps run within a web browser, with no software download needed – though users may need plugins to operate some apps. SaaS includes a wide variety of collaboration and email apps.

Examples of SaaS applications

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Customers can develop and manage apps on this platform; there’s no need to build the infrastructure for it. Users get hardware and software tools from the PaaS provider. This allows greater agility for app developers to concentrate on their projects.

Examples of PaaS applications

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

Users have access to virtualized computing resources on this platform. A third-party provider can host hardware, servers, software and other infrastructure. An IaaS platform can provide automated administrative tasks, backup services, and system maintenance.

Examples of IaaS applications

Why the cloud makes sense

Especially in the startup environment, access to resources becomes crucial. Rather than investing in expensive infrastructure and other platforms up front, small businesses can call on cloud services. Companies and organizations can outsource portions of their infrastructure that would be costly or too inefficient to operate in-house.

Companies that partner with cloud services providers can focus on product development and goals instead of building infrastructure. Modern startups needn’t rely on local computers for storage and operation of basic functions. With interface software, a workforce can tap into cloud resources on the front end. Startups can rely on a cloud carrier for security and compliance. Cloud computing provides a flexible and scalable solution for growth, and it’s accessible 24/7.