What is Cloud computing ?
Cloud computing is the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network typically the Internet. The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts remote services with a user’s data, software and computation.
There are many types of public cloud computing:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Storage as a service (STaaS)
- Security as a service (SECaaS)
- Data as a service (DaaS)
- Test environment as a service (TEaaS)
- Desktop as a service (DaaS)
- API as a service (APIaaS)
The business model, IT as a service (ITaaS), is used by in-house, enterprise IT organizations that offer any or all of the above services. Using software as a service, users also rent application software and databases. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run.
End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or a light-weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and user’s data are stored on servers at a remote location. Proponents claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.
The origin of the term cloud computing is obscure, but it appears to derive from the practice of using drawings of stylized clouds to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems. The word cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the standardized use of a cloud-like shape to denote a network on telephony schematics and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents.
Some of the benefits of cloud computing :
- Cost savings over on-site installations
- Anywhere anytime access through an Internet connection
- Reduced dependency on IT support
- Cloud solutions are most often faster to deploy than on-site solutions
- Cloud solutions typically enables organizations to buy into a bigger product with much more functionality which would be cost prohibitive if similar functionality was acquired through a non-cloud on-site solution
- IT can focus more on value-add activities as opposed to managing IT infrastructure because infrastructure management shifts to the cloud provider
- Cloud solutions typically contribute to the following:
- More timely financial information
- Optimizing business processes
- Connecting with employees and enabling staff to work remotely