If you decide that you prefer another option for processing and storing data than on local on-premises resources, you are well advised to take a look at the Cloud. Cloud services rely on the use of remote resources – servers, storage, data center space, and software – hosted on the Internet to process and store your data for you.
To suit your current situation there are various levels of Cloud services available on the ‘cloud services spectrum’. At one (the low) end is IaaS or ‘Infrastructure as a Service’. At this level the Cloud provides an unmanaged level of mutually agreed upon resources at a mutually agreed upon monthly rate and term. At the other (the high) end is PaaS or ‘Platform as a Service’. At this level the Cloud provides tools and management services for application development and deployment on a scalable as needed basis with an SLA guaranteeing uptime, etc. Many variations of the Cloud concept offering effective services exist between these two ends. In addition, another type of cloud service is SaaS, or ‘Software as a Service’. SaaS refers to delivery of an application by an application vendor whereby the application software is hosted offsite, generally at the vendor’s site, and accessed by a user remotely.
Why the Cloud?