Cloud Computing – A brief Overview
Cloud Computing is an abstract idea to describe services provided on the internet. These are technology related services, not online services that deal directly with a consumer, like online advice, gaming, or anything that a consumer would interact with. A cloud is named such because clouds are not physically bound to one form or one size. A cloud in the computer world is much the same. It is not set in size and can be easily upgraded or downgraded depending on the need of the client.
A cloud is not a physical structure that can described, although it can have physical parts. There are three ways a cloud can work. All these ways are services that are provided, not just physical parts. By service we mean that the seller of the service manages the actual product. The buyer or consumer does not need to worry about the technical details behind the scenes. If there is a problem or glitch, it is the seller’s responsibility to fix it.
3 Different Models
Infrastructure refers to a physical piece of technology. Companies that provide this type of cloud are providing machinery for other companies to use. The biggest example of this type of cloud is Amazon. They provide physical storage space to users. The storage space is unlimited, and you pay for what you use. To the user, they store their data there in a folder, and retrieve it when they need it. Amazon takes care of finding the space, making backups, and maintaining the connection to the data.
Platform refers to both a physical piece of technology and some software that goes along with it. Companies that provide this type of cloud are providing machinery for other companies and developers to use. Google Apps is the largest example of this type of cloud. Their apps are available for others to use and modify to fit their needs. The developer does not have to program the actual application Google provides; just fill in their desired settings. These custom applications can then be incorporated into other software that the company is using.
Software refers to a product that can be used by consumers or other companies. Companies that provide this type of cloud are providing a solution that the general public can use. Almost every website that provides an interactive experience for users is providing this type of cloud. You as the user can go to Facebook for example and use their site. They are providing you the service of social networking, photo storage, gaming, and much more. These services are not limited to you, and you do not need to worry about how things work. Facebook’s cloud is set up so that as many new users as possible can join in without negatively effecting the user experience of those who are already members.
The SaaS model is used everywhere on the web, and will be the type of cloud that most everyday people will be exposed to, whether they realize it or not. Don’t let salespeople fool you. The idea of cloud computing is not a new one, and you should come to expect the standard of software to be cloud in the future. Media has made “cloud” a buzzword recently, and many companies are charging more for cloud software versus the old standard even though the benefits for both companies and users are equal on both sides.
Take a look at some more information on cloud computing so you can make an informed decision about your role as a cloud user.