The so called Cloud Computing–What is it?

Today, if you take half of the articles on the web, or have a conversation with an IT guy, some or the other the article or the conversation will cross the topic Cloud Computing. In the recent years the word Cloud Computing has become an industry BUZZ word. What ever you take has the cloud portion in it. Everyone talks about cloud computing. But what exactly is this, so called cloud computing? where did the term “cloud” derive from for this technology?

For me, cloud computing is simply “Hosted Services” over the internet or a dedicated private network. If you look at todays world IT has become one of the key points to run a business. A successful business needs, hardware, software, IT experts, designing, implementation, maintenance, support, upgrade, etc. Cloud Computing helps a business to forget all those components and focus only on the core business for organizations. That is an organization can host their application somewhere in a datacenter and access the application through the internet, by doing this the employees of that organization only needs a PC and an internet connection to access this application and the management does not have to worry about hardware, backups, upgrades, etc. as all of those will be taken care of by the hosting company. How did this become so feasible now? well with the recent improvements with virtualization and the improvements gained on the connectivity speed to the internet has made this possible. An example for cloud services is www.hotmail.com a total mail solution is offered through the internet where the users only require a PC and an internet connectivity to retrieve their emails ( no servers, backup, downtime, etc).

How did we end up with the term “CLOUD”? If you look at the network diagram charts (Microsoft Office Visio is a tool which generates such diagrams), the cloud symbol depicts the internet, so the name CLOUD was derived from that.

A Public Cloud delivers services to anyone on the internet – either free or for a fee. Some of the example for this would be email services provide by hotmail, gmail, yahoo Or Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, etc.

A Private Cloud delivers services to a target audience or a target group from a private datacenter over a private network. Sometimes to create a Private cloud we might use the resources of a Public Cloud and this creates a Hybrid.

There are 3 major Offerings through Cloud Computing

1) Iaas – Infrastructure As A Service

2) PaaS – Platform As A Service

3) SaaS – Software As A Service.

I will write about these later where as I hope the above is informational..   

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