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A Guide to Cloud Application Optimization: the What, the Why, and the How

If you're someone who works with or around cloud-based applications a lot, you've probably thought about the best ways to run them to maximize efficiency and reduce the resources required to keep them working smoothly.

If you aren't, you're probably wondering what all of this is about.

Whichever category you fall into, it's a good idea to learn more about cloud application optimization so you can either improve yours or find out how it works.

We're going to start with the basics (considering what cloud-based applications actually are), then work our way to the more complicated questions. Those are the hows and the whys. First, let's get those that are out of the way.

What is a cloud-based application?

In short, cloud-based applications are software designed to be accessed via the internet. This means that instead of needing to install software or handle hardware, the applications can be used simply by having access to the internet.

For context, let's compare an open-source Linux desktop app with a cloud-based application. A desktop app has to be downloaded, installed, and then accessed via your desktop. On the other hand, a cloud-based version of the same app would be accessed via the internet.

There are three main types of cloud-based applications: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. We're going to look at all three of them, as well as provide some examples of open-source variants.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

This type of application involves third parties making necessary infrastructure available for other companies to run their software on along with the commercial proposal. IaaS software relies on the cloud and is designed to make it easier for developers to create cloud-based software.

The IaaS supplier will typically also provide support to anyone using their infrastructure and the middleware needed to work effectively within the infrastructure.

Software developers can use IaaS as the foundation of their own apps.

Examples of open-source IaaS providers include OpenStack, CloudStack, and OpenNebula. Each one comes with its own features and advantages, though they all focus on the same concept of allowing developers to use their infrastructures to build apps. Below is Openstack's UI:


Image Sourced from

Platform as a service (PaaS)

PaaS and IaaS are similar in nature, though PaaS providers give their users more material to work with. Essentially, IaaS suppliers offer the bare-bones infrastructure, which developers then use to create their own apps. PaaS providers, on the other hand, make their whole platform available.

When you choose a PaaS supplier, you get access to their infrastructure as well as a host of other features. These include middleware, development tools, supplementary systems, and more useful items that help users develop their apps.

You can use PaaS to create all kinds of apps. It's often easier to get started with PaaS than IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) since PaaS gives first-time creators more to work with. So if you're a new developer looking for a platform you can use to help you create apps that explain things like how to create an advertising proposal sample to users, PaaS is worth a try.

Examples of open-source PaaS providers include Dokku, CapRover, and Tsuru. As before, each one has its own advantages, though they're all cloud-based and able to support a wide variety of projects.

Software as a service (SaaS)

Out of the three cloud application types we've covered, SaaS is probably the most common. That's because it's universally useful and highly customer-friendly. Let's get into the reasons why.

Team task management tool involves SaaS hosting software in the cloud for users to access remotely. That means that SaaS providers handle maintenance and host the server(s) that their software requires, while users only need to have an internet connection to access the software.

A major advantage of SaaS is that users don't have to install or set up any kind of hardware, or even software, to use it. That makes it more accessible and universally useful.

This is doubly true for open-source SaaS programs like Jitsi. Here's what Jitsi looks like:


Image Sourced from

Jitsi is a cloud-based video calling platform that relies on placing VoIP calls. If you're wondering how does wifi calling works, the short answer is that it relies on sending data packets via the internet instead of a cellular connection.

What is cloud application optimization?

Cloud applications don't rely on hardware to work, but they do need other resources, like cloud space and similar cloud computing resources. These aren't infinite.

When you focus on your cloud modernization strategy, what you're doing is ensuring that the cloud resources at your disposal are being allocated in the best possible ways. That means making sure that no programs are taking up more server space than they need to, for example, among other things.

Opensource programs benefit significantly from well-handled optimization. That's because cloud optimization improves the way programs run in the cloud, meaning that those programs become more accessible to a greater number of people.

How does cloud application optimization work?

Something to keep in mind about cloud application optimization is that it is a continual activity that benefits from the best business management books. You can't optimize one aspect of your cloud application management and leave the others alone, just as you can't do it once and then leave it forever.

To get a better idea of the many sides that there are to cloud management and cloud application optimization, consider the graphic below:


Image Sourced from

Each area covered in the graphic has to be maintained and optimized on an ongoing basis if an application wants to truly be considered optimized.

In a practical sense, this means optimizing everything in-depth and in-person first, then setting up command-line apps to run checks at regular intervals.

Why do you need cloud application optimization?

In short, cloud application optimization improves your web-based app. It boosts performance, reduces the resources you need, and ensures everything continues running smoothly.

The longer version is that it comes with a lot of benefits that any application creator can stand to reap. These include the following:

  • A better app. The more optimized your app is, the higher its overall quality. This prevents things like high bounce rates-and if you're wondering ‘what is website bounce rate', it's simply the number of times people click on your site (or app, in this case) and then click away again before interacting meaningfully.
  • More engagement. This ties in with bounce rate since more engagement means lower bounce rates. Anyone using your app will be less likely to quit since it's been optimized perfectly.
  • More purchases. You can both boost the number of purchases as a whole and increase your average order value. That's because your users will be impressed with your app's excellent performance and, therefore, more likely to be interested in further content by the same developer.
  • Less waste of resources. When you're entirely sure your resources are being used as they should be, you don't need to spend extra money on things like server space you don't need. That stops you from wasting time, money, and resources.



Samantha Clayton


Samantha is a Content Specialist at RingCentral, the leader in cloud-based PBX, international phone number, and collaboration provider worldwide. Samantha is passionate about creating compelling angles for content and finding out about people's interests and passions, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She has extensive experience in content writing and strategy and has been an Account and Senior Manager in Tech & Communications industries. You can check her on LinkedIn.

Published Thursday, September 15, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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