Types of Cloud Services

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In this section we'll introduce the types of Cloud services and their characteristics. The three primary Cloud service models available are Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service, and Software as a service. Let's now review each one. The Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS model, allows you to rent the hardware, such as service, storage, and networking from the data center. The host manages the kit to keep it operational and it is kept separate from other customers because of virtualization. You can manage the guest operating systems using a remote desktop and any software, such as databases or application servers, running on them.

You also assume full responsibility for keeping your applications running. Examples of IaaS include Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, and Google Compute Engine. These organizations have invested billions of dollars to build huge data centers across the world for you to rent resources by the minute. Platform as a service, or PaaS, sits in the middle of IaaS and SaaS. It provides you with a computing platform and allows you to rent a consistent run-time environment that you use to build out your applications and services.

For example, this might mean working with a pre-configured Linux box running Apache. You interact with the application and don't need to worry about the application server that it runs on. A PaaS provider, such as Azure, allows you to choose from dozens of run-time environments including JavaScript, Python, .NET, and PHP and allows you to build out cross-platform applications. Examples of PaaS include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google App Engine. All these vendors support a broad selection of operating systems programming languages, brainworks, tools, databases, and devices.

Software as a service, or Saas, is the most well-known type of Cloud computer service. This is probably because Microsoft have sold millions of licenses for Office 365. Saas is completely hosted in the Cloud and is typically accessed by a web browser. You have no control over the infrastructure at all and you can't customize a service since it is shared with other customers. Typically you rent a SaaS service on a per-user, per-monthly basis. Some software as a service examples include Outlook.com, Gmail, Office 365, and Dropbox, where you consume the service and pay for it either with a monthly or annual flat fee per user or suffer third-party advertising within the service.

It can be hard to fully appreciate where a particular service can fit into which deployment model, and which Cloud service. You should study this table until you're comfortable with these examples. The table provides examples for Saas, such as Office 365, Paas, such as SQL Server, and Iaas, such as Amazon EC2. In the next movie we will look into how to integrate the Cloud in hybrid scenarios including the advantages of adopting a hybrid cloud model.

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Gain a new or enhanced understanding of cloud principles, service offerings, delivery mechanisms, and security requirements. This course focuses on the objectives for the first two domains of the Microsoft Cloud Fundamentals exam (98-369: Understand the Cloud and Enable Microsoft Cloud Services). IT professionals and those interested in pursuing certification can use this course as an exam preparation resource.

Topics include:

  • Cloud principles and security mechanisms

  • Cloud security requirements and policies

  • Cloud updates and availability

  • Types of cloud services

  • Signing up for cloud services

  • Configuring cloud services

  • Configuring Microsoft Intune

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