Cloud computing is an abstraction of compute, storage, and network infrastructure assembled as a platform on which applications and systems can be deployed quickly and scaled on the fly. Crucial to cloud computing is self-service: Users can simply fill in a web form and get up and running.
The vast majority of cloud customers consume public cloud computing services over the internet, which are hosted in large, remote data centers maintained by cloud providers. The most common type of cloud computing, SaaS (software as service), delivers prebuilt applications to the browsers of customers who pay per seat or by usage, exemplified by such popular apps as Salesforce, Google Docs, or Microsoft Teams. Next in line is IaaS (infrastructure as a service), which offers vast, virtualized compute, storage, and network infrastructure upon which customers build their own applications, often with the aid of providers’ API-accessible services.