Clouds of Data

Natalia Claus
Written by
Natalia Chaus
clouds of data

Clouds of Data

The cloud concept was formed back in the 1960s when the first high-performance mainframes appeared. Even back then, several users could connect to them at once and share computing resources among themselves.

The idea has evolved over several decades. Today, the cloud is a set of technologies for solving a wide range of tasks: from the development and launch of corporate and user applications to storage and processing of huge data arrays as well as artificial intelligence training.

Cloud services are divided into three large segments:

  1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - rental of virtual computing resources, storage and related services.
  2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) - rental of not only infrastructure virtual resources, but also ready-to-use operating systems, databases, software development, testing and deployment tools.
  3. Software as a service (SaaS) - these are ready-to-use applications and services that do not require installation, maintenance and updating by the user.

In addition to the 3 key segments - IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, there are specialized cloud services that include elements of different segments. These are AIaaS (Artificial Intelligence as a Service), DSaaS (Data Science as a Service) and other cloud services.

How do I know if my business needs it?

Cloud technologies are universal. They are used in business, science, education and the public sector. They are needed by almost any company and organization that works with data and has its own IT infrastructure, as they make the business more flexible, faster and more efficient, and therefore more competitive.

A wide variety of companies, from individual entrepreneurs and startups to corporations and government agencies, use cloud services. These are e-commerce sites, streaming services, small businesses, and government organizations. Some rely on backup storage and data archiving, testing new products in the cloud before launching them to the mass audience. Others use the full potential of cloud platforms and outsource all of their business processes to them.

What kind of cloud services are needed depends on the nature of the tasks being solved. If it is a retail business, and customers have begun to buy more online, it is possible to expand e-commerce using the resources of a cloud platform. If a company has a broad regional network, equipping each branch with its own IT infrastructure is long and expensive, and it's much easier to use a virtual data center from a cloud provider.