How cloud computing and storage can help startups?

What is cloud computing?

A bit more theory: types of cloud infrastructure

Deployment models of cloud computing

  1. Public cloud. This cloud service is intended for widespread usage. In the public cloud, IT-resources (like virtual machines, storage, applications, etc.) are provided by third-party cloud service providers. You can access these services and manage them from your account. Examples of the most popular public clouds: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.
  2. Private cloud. This type of cloud means the cloud used by one organization. This organization can include users, clients, and contractors. A private cloud can be owned by the company’s data center or by a third-party provider and built either on a platform like OpenStack or OpenShift or as a secure part of a public cloud platform.
  3. Hybrid cloud. As you can guess from the title, this type includes both previous types. Your data and apps can move between private and public clouds for load balancing, which makes processes of your company more flexible, and optimizes the work in general.

Service models of cloud computing

  1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This model is called “on-demand software” sometimes. Under the SaaS model, you pay only for what you use, usually. The cloud provider installs the software to the cloud infrastructure and grants you access through the thin client (for example, a web or mobile app) to the complete software. You need a subscription for this access, usually. Services and management are carried out by the third-party provider.
  2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS offers you an environment for development. Usually, the provider gives you a computing platform with the operating system, toolkit, standard tools for software development, like a web server and a database. For example, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine and Oracle Cloud Platform work under this model. Among the features, it is worth highlighting the capability of scaling the data storage and computing resources, which allows you to not allocate the resources manually.
  3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). This is the most common category of cloud computing services. It allows you to rent necessary resources, like operating systems, networks, storage virtual machines, and servers and manage them yourself. This model is a complete copy of the physical environment, which provides a high level of flexibility.

Why cloud infrastructure is good for startups?

  • lack of budget;
  • team location (different cities/countries);
  • team instability (for the first time, the team can actively expand or shrink, therefore it’s important to be able to adapt resources to the team’s requests).
  1. Simple usage & low cost. Cloud computing doesn’t need special resources or big investments. It’s easy to use and needs minimum investment — you can pay only for actual usage of resources and increase your investments while your company grows. So, you can start with a small budget, which is very beneficial for startup companies.
  2. Data protection. The majority of cloud providers propose a set of services and technologies, which help to protect your data. Security is provided by locating data on reliable servers and making regular backups and snapshots.
  3. Speed. You can get access to new IT-resources with a few mouse clicks. So, you cut time for the provisioning of these resources and make your work process easier and quicker. As a result, the organization becomes more flexible.
  4. Global scale. Scaling allows you to adjust the number of resources required at the moment. This makes a startup flexible and efficient, and you pay only for the resources you used. For example, imagine, that you create a website and have 50 visitors per day, then 500 visitors per day and one day you buy a very lucrative advertisement for your site and have 10000 visitors.
    After that, your servers freeze because of the lack of bandwidth and computing resources, so now you need more bandwidth and more server resources. Cloud infrastructure protects you from such problems in advance, as you can configure auto-scaling so that your infrastructure grows or shrinks depending on the workloads and requirements.
  5. Access from anywhere. Regardless of location, your team members can get access to project data anytime and anywhere. Also, you’ll have access from any operating system or mobile device.

What about the drawbacks of cloud computing?

Summary: Cloud computing for startups — to use or not to use?

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