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The term Cloud covers a huge range of services. Software as a Service (SaaS) is commonly included, but for the purposes of these services we are looking mostly at Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This enables you to use one or more infrastructure building blocks to create the function you need.

Infrastructure building blocks

The simplest building block is a virtual machine (VM) running Linux or Windows normally, on which you can install applications to serve your needs. This can be useful, but is often inefficient in terms of cost.

Higher level building blocks include:

  • Storage:
    • file storage (like an NFS/SMB/CIFS share) 
    • block storage (like an empty hard drive)
    • object storage (a relatively new solution, where you store whole objects, for example, a picture, video file or a spreadsheet).
  • Databases:
    • MySQL
    • Oracle
    • PostgreSQL
  • Containers:
    • Kubernetes
    • Cloud Run
    • Elastic Container Service
  • Serverless:
    • AWS Lambda
    • GCP Functions

These, and many others, can be glued together to create the functionality you need.

Cloud platforms

UIS offers access to: 

It may also be useful to be aware of:

Cloud storage

Finally, there are a number of storage solutions both for institutions and individuals.