One of the features of many cloud services gives you is the ability to run web-based applications that are hosted remotely on the provider’s servers. Normally, to use these apps, you would open a web browser and point it to the service provider’s website. Such is the case with Google Apps, Zoho Office, and Microsoft Office 365. Alternatively, you can configure services like these to use your own domain name to make them seem more integrated into your website.
Your DNS settings may vary, but the method for changing them is pretty much the same. For your web public-facing frontend, you would use CNAME to setup an alias domain. In most cases, this will be a subdomain of your website. For example, if my domain is tavisonline.com, my cloud office applications might be offered at office.tavisonline.com. In the CNAME configuration, it would look like this:
office.tavisonline.com. CNAME office.cloudprovider.name
Any users that point their browser to the domain you have configured will reach your cloud applications. You can do the same thing for cloud-based mail services. For example, if you want email sent to your domain to be transfered to mailboxes hosted by your cloud service provider, your DNS MX records would need to look something like this:
The number at the beginning is the priority, and destinations listed at the highest priority (lowest number) will be used first. In this way, you can still use your local mail server at a lower priority if you need it.
Whether or not your cloud provider offers domain services depends on the arrangement you have with them, and prices may vary. If you are unsure if you can use your own domain, you should contact them for clarification. DNS configurations will vary, so you should consult their documentation before making any changes.