What Does it mean to “Go to The Cloud?”

Understanding the Cloud

What does it mean to “Go to The Cloud?”

When it comes to IT strategy, the term “go to the cloud” has a tendency to be thrown around a lot. But how well do you really understand what the cloud actually is, and how it can benefit your organization? Allow us to pull back the curtain of vagueness and mystery that surrounds the popular buzzword that is “go to the cloud” by breaking it down into the different types of clouds, and the fundamental services that they offer.

What does cloud mean?

Private Cloud vs Public Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud

Public Cloud

Public cloud is what most people are commonly referring to when discussing Cloud IT services. It is any infrastructure, application, or IT Service hosted on pooled resources that you have limited control over.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud is effectively infrastructure, applications, or IT resources on dedicated hardware that your organization controls in a datacenter you have access to. There are similar advantages in private cloud that are in public cloud (scalability, self-service) but with more direct control that is sometimes required by the organization.

 Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud is the strategy most organizations will find themselves pursuing, simply based on the constraints and needs of their business that will not allow them to completely abandon their on premise resources. When employing a Hybrid Cloud strategy, the organization has carefully reviewed their IT needs, and found solutions that allow them to off-board part of their IT services catalog to the cloud.

IaaS vs SaaS vs PaaS


Infrastructure as a Service is when full servers are virtualized. This is likely the most commoditized cloud service with the likes of OSG, Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace, HPE, Dell, Cisco, and more offering hosting solutions. Pricing is often based on varying consumption metrics, which does make pricing estimation difficult.

Within IaaS, there are several sub services that are becoming more and more popular, including:

  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS): Where even the desktop experience is hosted in the IaaS environment by utilizing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)


More and more providers are porting their on premise solutions to private cloud Software as a Service offering. Microsoft Office 365 is probably the most notable Software as a Service product offering, where an entire bundle of business productivity, communication, and collaboration applications have been placed in a cloud solution.

However, Microsoft does not have the the market cornered when it comes to Software as a Service offerings. Popular CRM, Accounting, and PSA software manufacturers are also all offering cloud versions of their applications.


Less-commonly discussed in the SMB space, but used by most everyone, is Platform as a Service. Platform as a Service is a hosted platform designed to allow organizations to design and host their custom applications. If you have a WordPress website hosted by an outside provider, you are utilizing a PaaS offering. With a PaaS solution, you are only responsible for your application. The OS, application engine, database, and any other supporting IT resources are the responsibility of the PaaS provider.

What Next?

Now equipped with a better understanding what does cloud mean and all of its terms and principles, what’s the next step? To fully understand if the cloud is right for you and your business, engage a trusted IT service provider such as OSG, to help you analyze your business and find solutions that fit your goals.

Call us today at 630-701-3393 or email us at info@osgusa.com to get started.