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IT departments use cloud computing to quickly scale capacity without installing additional hardware. There a few cloud computing types that admins can choose from based on cost, bandwidth needs and management capabilities. Data security also guides cloud selection, because the different types have varying levels of user access and security protocols.
Cloud computing's main goal is to provide hosted services over an internet connection, but admins often customize the configuration for specific applications such as virtual machine support, storage or data backup. Depending on the amount of in-house resources and expertise, admins can either set up the cloud resources themselves or go through a vendor to build out whatever cloud technology they select. Vendor contracts allow admins to hand off day-to-day management tasks related to any cloud-supporting hardware if they just want to oversee on-premises hardware.
The cloud vendor market has enough segments to provide as many or as few resources that an IT department needs. The main cloud service models are software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service. Each category focuses on a different part of the cloud technology stack, which makes it easier for admins to decide which services they need to outsource or handle in-house.
Cloud computing is a way for data center admins to augment on-premises processing capabilities and quickly obtain more compute resources across an organization. With the right cloud provider and setup, admins can easily implement technologies so that the cloud is an extension of the data center that provides scalability, flexible workload migrations and resilient storage resources.
Take this quiz to get an overview of the different types of cloud computing and specific vendor offerings.