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msmittalas profile image msmittalas ・2 min read

One fine evening, I and my non-IT Friend were sitting in a restaurant and enjoying dinner. I was explaining to him that nowadays, I am working on Azure Cloud. Suddenly he asked me to explain "CLOUD". I was not sure how to explain "Cloud" to a non-IT guy. I am sure you must be in a similar situation before.

I took some time to think and then explain him this way :

The term “cloud” has become overused. Every IT Company has a cloud and everyone’s platform is cloud-enabled, but if we cut through the hype, three basic models exist in cloud-based computing. These are

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)

I could see the "question mark" on my friends'face but then I used the meal preparation example.
I tried to map the daily making of meals to the different models of cloud computing.

1>You can make the meal at home.
2>You can go to the grocery store and buy a meal pre-made that you heat up and serve.
3>You can get a meal delivered to your house.
4>You can get in the car and eat at a restaurant.

Meal to Cloud Services mapping

The difference between these options is about who’s responsible for cooking these meals and where the meal is going to be cooked.
In the on-premise model, eating a meal at home requires you to do all the work, using your own oven and ingredients already in the home.
A store-bought meal is like using the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model of computing. You’re using the store’s chef and oven to pre-bake the meal, but you’re still responsible for heating the meal and eating it at the house (and cleaning up the dishes afterward).

In a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model, you still have responsibility for the meal, but you further rely on a vendor to take care of the core tasks associated with making a meal. For example, in a PaaS model, you supply the plates and furniture, but the restaurant owner provides the oven, ingredients, and the chef to cook them.
In the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, you go to a restaurant where all the food is prepared for you. You eat at the restaurant and then you pay for the meal when you’re done. you also have no dishes to prepare or wash.

After Explaining "CLOUD" this way to my friend, his view towards Cloud changed a lot. The good part was he paid the restaurant bill as well :)

I hope you liked the explanation.

Ref :

Book Ref: Microservice Pattern
Book Ref: Spring Microservice in Book

Discussion (3)

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rpostulart profile image

Nicely written and great metaphor!

jeexan2 profile image
Jysan Aziz

Examples are nicely put on here. Thanks for sharing.

tiamatt profile image
Samira Yusifova

Finally I can explain to my meemaw what I'm doing! 😄