Build the foundations of your cloud journey
This blog post is Part 2 to Back to Basics: Cloud 101 for Government.
Getting started with the cloud can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is understanding the basics. Learn what the cloud is, how it works, and its benefits. Next, learn the different types of cloud computing and the foundational cloud services to help get you started making sense of large amounts of data, innovating quicker, handling sudden changes in demand, and more.
What are the types of cloud computing?
With Amazon Web Services (AWS), you choose the cloud services and development model that works best for your organization. This allows you to focus your efforts on your mission, instead of infrastructure. The different cloud computing models—Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Platform as a Service—offer different levels of flexibility and management control.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS products are managed entirely by the company or organization (like AWS) providing the software. With SaaS, you’re fully in the cloud and focus only on how you will use the software, rather than how to manage the infrastructure. Many organizations start their cloud journey with SaaS offerings.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS offers the most flexibility and control of the three models. With IaaS, you manage your applications and some infrastructure. IaaS typically includes access to networking, computing, and storage resources.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): With PaaS, you focus on your applications and the service provider manages the underlying infrastructure. This can be useful for developers who are deploying and managing applications.
What are the foundational cloud services?
- Compute: Compute services help you make the most of your data. They support research and big data processing. AWS compute services cover virtual machines, containers, serverless computing, and more. For example, Munich Leukemia Laboratory uses AWS for genome sequencing; using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), they were able to process sequencing runs in 30-40 minutes, versus 10-12 hours before the cloud.
- Storage: AWS storage solutions provide reliable, scalable, and secure storage for backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity. For example, the Smithsonian Institution shared over 2.8 million images stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for public analysis and use.
- Database: AWS databases are built for different data models and use cases and offer speed, reliability, availability, and security. For example, the West Virginia State Police uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) to automate data backup and recovery for a web application that supports law enforcement.