In recent years, the cloud computing world has evolved to provide almost everything for your business “as-a-service” and does it for a relatively low monthly fee. Cloud computing features also include converged infrastructure and solid state drives. Read on for tips on these features that may prove advantageous for your business.
As-a-Service. The list of cloud offerings as-a-Service grows each year. We encourage you to carefully review the various as-a-service cloud services available from cloud service providers. Do not commit to any cloud service that cannot handle your data securely and does not operate in the way that you want to operate. You will want to explore the providers’ responses to any data security questions before committing to a specific cloud provider to ensure that you make the best choice. If the provider cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction, do not buy the service.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is probably the most ubiquitous of the cloud offerings. SaaS permits some choices within the software features offered, however, customers cannot customize the underlying code. If your business requires extensive changes to the SaaS code, you probably won’t get them — which is not such a bad thing. After all, you wouldn’t want the shared cloud code to include changes that you expected would give you a leg up over your competition. Any code change accepted by the cloud provider will be available to all who use the SaaS. That’s how as-a-service offerings work. The cloud provider makes client requested changes at one time and every customer gets to take advantage of the changes.
- Database-as-a-Service. DB-as-a-Service is, at its core, a sub-specialty of the software-as-a-service model. It is a managed service that provides access to a cloud database that the DBaaS customer uses with cloud applications and their own data. All the administration and management of the database stays with the cloud provider so all the customer has to do is use its database. Businesses that want to retain more control over the database can do so under optional features. Cloud providers base payment on the features used and the amount of storage capacity the database requires. Some DB systems do not support compression or table partitions so it is imperative that you understand what your existing system can do and what your business requires from its database before you commit to DBaaS.
- Identity-as-a-Service. ID-as-a-Service is an infrastructure for authentication that resides in the cloud. It is a way of managing identity that includes all of the things we’ve come to appreciate about services in the cloud, such as smaller on-site infrastructure; easy management; and a range of integration options. IDaaS is popular with smaller organizations or large organizations with satellite locations who do not have the expertise in-house to have strong identity architecture. Such businesses move identity security to the cloud believing that the cloud provider is an expert in the field. ID-as-a-Service raises questions of regulatory compliance, auditing, and how the ID cloud provider will handle disclosures of sensitive customer information. Since this is an evolving area, do not count on the law to demand cloud provider surety against disclosure of sensitive information. Do your due diligence review.
Converged Infrastructure. The term converged infrastructure refers to the process of grouping various information technology (IT) elements together into one computing package. The packaged IT elements act more efficiently than the elements would if acting independently. These elements may include servers, network management, infrastructure management software, and data storage devices. Converged infrastructure approaches data center management in a way that looks to decrease incompatibility issues among all these elements.
Converged Infrastructure provides advantages over the traditional silo approach to computing. Converged Infrastructure allows networks to handle Big Data more efficiently through a single, IT management system which integrates the various components.
Solid State Drives. Traditional computers have spinning hard drives (HDD) for storage. Designers developed Solid State Drives (SSD) originally for ultra mobile devices. Today, you can choose to have SSD for your operating system and HDD for other purposes.
SSDs have no moving parts so they fly in the face of what we traditionally think of as “hard drives”. The term refers to storage devices that save data on solid-state flash memory drives. Solid-state means the devices use solid semi-conductor (instead of electron tube) memory stored on a flash drive that uses integrated circuits rather than magnetic or optical media to store data.
SSD advantages are lower random access and read latency (think, wasted time) than traditional hard drives which gives SSDs higher input/output efficiency. It also means they are the best option for workloads that involve heavy read. Servers, laptops, and applications that deliver in real-time benefit from the SSD’s ability to read directly from a specific SSD cell. The final takeaway is that SSDs are many times faster than electromechanical disc drives.