What is Cloud Computing and What Types Are There?

Simply put, cloud computing provides an easy way to access servers, storage, databases and a full range of application services over the Internet.

When talking about "cloud", one primarily means the so-called "public cloud", i.e. the data is not stored in one's own company and therefore not on the servers in the company's server room. In contrast, in the "private cloud" model, a cloud computing infrastructure is created within a company or a company rents the premises from a specialist operator in order to operate or have a corresponding company private cloud operated there.

In the case of the "public cloud", a company or public organization rents IT infrastructures that are equipped with memory and processing power or already provide suitable software solutions, depending on the scope of requirements. The individual combination of resources and software can, in particular, reduce personnel costs and the costs of procuring your own IT infrastructure and maintaining it.

What types of cloud computing are there?​

There are different types of Cloud Computing. A distinction can be made based on the cloud computing architecture, which consists of three layers:

  • infrastructure layer

  • platform layer

  • and application layer

We explain the different layers more throughly in the related pages. Please click the links below for more details.

Advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing

Each of the layers of cloud computing has advantages but also disadvantages.
Probably the biggest advantage, however, is that smaller companies do not have to make a large investment in expensive IT infrastructure, but can directly adhere to already established solutions. The large number of cloud applications also makes it possible to react flexibly to new business processes and opportunities. Finally, most SaaS solutions can be tested free of charge or are even permanently available in a free version.
Of course, this is also countered by disadvantages. Cloud applications or cloud solutions should be used with caution, especially from a data protection perspective. The fact that the data is not located in the company's own server room, but in a data centre to which one has no direct access, means that it is particularly at risk. For this reason, special requirements must be placed on the security of cloud service providers and separate agreements must also be concluded for commissioned data processing. Furthermore, many cloud providers have their headquarters and also their data centers in the USA. In accordance with the ECJ's Safe Harbor ruling, personal data can only be sent there under strict conditions.