Cloud Computing is a method of using virtualization technologies to deliver infrastructure services via the internet. This is accomplished by using infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and then combining this with software as a service (SaaS). Cloud services are flexible and allow users to easily scale the available resources to meet changing demands. In fact, the most famous example of Cloud Computing is the internet. It allows users to access information at their fingertips irrespective of location, time and cost. This was unimaginable just several years ago.
Cloud computing is all about service provisioning of computing resources over the internet, which is generally delivered as a service through the servers. A user usually does not need to know how to use computers to run applications as the servers do everything. Large cloud services often have several purposes deployed across multiple locations, each served by dedicated hardware that is centrally located. The user simply has to pay for what he needs, instead of buying costly servers for use by hundreds of employees.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Another advantage of cloud computing services is that users can use them on-site or in the browser, depending on the browser type. It also allows for off-site or 'on-site' computing, in the form of a file, document and application sharing. Cloud computing uses the server to serve files, applications and documents to other devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. It is based on the premise that data can be accessed from any location. In other words, users can access files even when they are travelling, staying at a different place or simply waiting for the data to be updated in their laptops.
In addition to providing public cloud computing services, there are private clouds too. In a private cloud computing arrangement, an individual or business has access to the public infrastructure but does not have to pay for it. This helps to reduce costs associated with on-site computing, but at the same time the individual enjoys increased flexibility. Private services are usually based on file and content delivery networks (CDN), where the network ensures that only relevant local content is delivered to the end-user's computer.
Different kinds of cloud computing service are available. They include storage, application service, connectivity and operational tools. The most common kind of service is the file hosting service, which lets the user upload and store files on the provider's infrastructure. Some of the common file hosting providers are Microsoft SharePoint, Appian and Thrifty. This allows users to easily store information in the form of documents. Other cloud providers include IBM, Cleopatra and Eucalyptus.
On the other hand, the private cloud services provide users access to the infrastructure, but they do not have to pay for it. This means that the users can make use of the infrastructure at a lower cost. These cloud services include things such as application service providers (ASPs), IaaS and SaaS. An example of an ASP is Microsoft Dynamics GP. An IaaS is that provided by a hosted website and SaaS is that provided by a software developer.
With on-site cloud computing services, the hardware resources like the computers, servers and workstations are leased from the host. These are costly overheads, but the users can enjoy many benefits. They get a level of flexibility because they do not have to own and manage the infrastructure of the server. Another advantage is that they can maintain their desktop software in a virtual manner, without having to pay for dedicated hardware.
Some of the benefits of using cloud computing services for a business include the following. With this kind of service, you do not need to hire expensive IT professionals and you do not have to worry about maintenance. You also do not have to buy the software. Also, you save money since you do not have to buy the hardware and you do not have to pay for security. However, there are downsides to using serverless computing software as a service (SaaS).