Cloud computing: the types

You’ve decided the cloud is right for you, so now what? The next step is to research different service and deployment models, and then decide which would benefit your organization the most.

There are many different cloud service and deployment models that can greatly benefit your organization. Organizations should think wisely when choosing a cloud service model: there are several different models to choose from, and your decision will have a lasting effect on your organization. It is important to note that there is no ‘one-cloud-fits-all’ solution, since not all cloud services are created equal. Knowing which cloud service and cloud deployment model is right for you is important. Although this list is not all-encompassing or inclusive, it summarizes the most common models.

Service models

Software As A Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a software distribution model where applications are purchased or hosted by a cloud service provider, and then made available for customers to use over the internet. This reduces the need to install and maintain the software on local computers. Many Government of Canada departments use a similar type of service, but they use a network instead of the internet.


Platform As A Service (PaaS)
PaaS is a platform model that provides a safe development, testing, and deployment environment for application developers. This service model is very flexible and can allow you to scale deployments quickly. It can provide add-on features to aid in the application development and deployment processes.


Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
In an IaaS model, users pay for cloud storage space on a consumption basis. Users are also responsible for accessing, monitoring, and managing their own data remotely stored on the infrastructures. IaaS Cloud Service Providers generally manage hardware, storage and networking, as well as other services at an additional cost.

Deployment models

Public cloud
A public cloud provides shared resources, cost-effectiveness and efficiency. This type of cloud is external to an organization, meaning that applications and data storage are remotely-accessible. You may share the same infrastructure with many organizations, meaning your data may be stored on the same server as others.

Private cloud
A private cloud allows customers to have greater control over their infrastructure and computational resources. This model provides services and infrastructures that are located on private networks and deployed for a specific organization.

Community cloud
A community cloud has a unique infrastructure that is shared by several organizations and is restricted for use by approved community users. Generally, it supports a specific community that has shared goals. It may be managed by the organization or a third party, and can exist on or off premise.

Hybrid cloud
A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds. They give organizations the advantages of many different service providers and facilitate access to the most efficient options for each business requirement of an organization.

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