Cloud computing promises several attractive benefits for businesses and end users. Three of the main benefits of cloud computing include:
- Self-service provisioning: End users can spin up computing resources for almost any type of workload on-demand.
- Elasticity: Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands decrease.
- Pay per use: Computing resources are measured at a granular level, allowing users to pay only for the resources and workloads they use.
Cloud computing services can be private, public or hybrid.
Private cloud services are delivered from a business' data center to internal users. This model offers versatility and convenience, while preserving management, control and security. Internal customers may or may not be billed for services through IT chargeback.
In the public cloud model, a third-party provider delivers the cloud service over the Internet. Public cloud services are sold on-demand, typically by the minute or the hour. Customers only pay for the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth they consume. Leading public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM/SoftLayer and Google Compute Engine.