What does CSP stand for? What do CSPs do?

Many organizations, from every sector, have been moving their on-premises IT infrastructures onto the Cloud. To utilize the Cloud, organizations must choose a Cloud Service Provider (CSP). The three biggest CSPs are Microsoft AzureGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP), and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Using Cloud Service Providers offer a variety of benefits, including opening organizations to a wider range of customers. When dealing with the Cloud, the CSP is in charge of security of the Cloud, while the user is responsible for the data in the Cloud. But what exactly is a Cloud Service Provider, and what do they do?

What is a CSP?

Cloud Service Providers offer cloud computing infrastructure as a service to developers and businesses, so they can save on computing costs and operate with a larger customer base, while managing less of their IT infrastructure. Cloud services offer a variety of options for organization’s IT infrastructures, including storing, processing, and analyzing of data, protecting data-at-rest and data-in-motion, and developer tools to create your own applications on the Cloud. CSPs offer these services at varying costs so organizations of any size can utilize their services. Services can be used on-demand, at set time periods, or dedicated hosts can be utilized for constant use. Even among the top three, Cloud Service Providers offer different options for data manipulation, so ensure you pick the right CSP for your requirements, as the infrastructures and APIs used by the Cloud Service Providers are also different.

Types of Cloud Service Providers

Cloud Service Providers can offer a number of computing options and can be defined as one of three types based on their offerings:
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS Cloud Service Providers offer services that would normally be on-premises. These services can be storage or networking options, servers, or another type of infrastructure service. These CSPs also tend to offer secondary services, like load balancing, logging, or security options, to complement their infrastructure options. All of these services are hosted by the Cloud Service Provider, and many are managed by the CSP as well.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): The next type of Cloud Service Provider, SaaS, provides software for productivity, customer relationship management, and software and human resources management to users. These software options are hosted over the Internet by the CSP. Many software vendors have been offering cloud-based software recently, as more organizations move to the Cloud for their online needs.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service providers are the final type of Cloud Service Provider, who offer infrastructure and services for use by software developers. The platform offered can be used for various other functions as well, but software developers tend to utilize PaaS CSPs the most. Middleware and Operating Systems are just some of the examples of the options available for use in PaaS Cloud Service Providers.

Cloud Service Providers are sometimes defined by the type of cloud service they deliver: private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud. Private clouds are kept within an organization’s walls, for use only by the organization who owns it. Public clouds offer a number of services, and are accessible across the Internet. The top 3 Cloud Service Providers are considered public clouds. A hybrid cloud utilizes the functions of both private and public clouds, combining the services of each for a better and more secure experience. A multi-cloud architecture uses any number of public, private, or hybrid clouds, that may or may not be connected together.

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Why use a CSP?

There are a variety of reasons so many businesses are moving their services and infrastructure to the Cloud. CSPs offer a way to cut back on the cost of supporting a company’s infrastructure, while also managing many of the services for a company. This cuts back on the cost of human resources and man hours necessary to properly implement a secure and long-lasting infrastructure. Cloud Service Providers also offer rapid and simple deployment of applications and services, less time spent on marketing services, and potentially stronger compliance with the industry regulations and standards.

Cloud services can be used for many different purposes, including developing and deploying applications. With Cloud services, a wider customer base can be supported while incurring little to no cost. The Cloud can also be used as a Disaster Recovery solution as well. A backup of on-premises services and infrastructure can be created on the Cloud to be implemented if an on-premises data center were to suffer any outages. Another way the Cloud is used by many organizations is to comply with industry standards and regulations. Since so many different types of industries utilize Cloud Service Providers services, they must comply with the most common regulations seen by organizations, such as HIPAA or FIPS.

Encryption Consulting's Services

Though learning everything you can do on the Cloud may seem daunting, Encryption Consulting offers a number of services and products to assist you with your use of Cloud services such as AWS or GCP. Our AWS Crypto Training trains you on how to efficiently use AWS Cloud Crypto services to stay secure in the AWS Cloud. This course focuses on industry standard best practices to secure data with AWS. We also offer a suite of utility functions that can be used on the Google Cloud Platform to encrypt data while migrating it to the Cloud, or while storing it within Google Cloud Storage Buckets. To learn more about Encryption Consulting’s services, visit our website.