What is Cloud Computing ?

 Everyone is talking about “the cloud”. But what does cloud mean ? Over the last decade, traditional software models are moving to internet rapidly.Looking towards future, the next decade of cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere, through mobile devices.

So, what is cloud computing ? Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet. Traditional business applications have always been very complicated and expensive.With cloud computing, you eliminate the headaches of  managing hardware and software.

What is Cloud ?

Before we start discussing about cloud computing, we need to know what is cloud. Cloud refers to Network or Internet.In simple words, Cloud is something which is at remote location.Cloud can provide services over internet, i.e, on public/private networks, i.e, WAN, VPN, LAN

Example of applications running on cloud are email, web conferencing , customer relationship management(CRM) etc.

What is Cloud Computing ?

Cloud computing as a term has been around since the early 2000s, but the concept of computing-as-a-service has been around for much, much longer — as far back as the 1960s, when computer bureaus would allow companies to rent time on a mainframe, rather than have to buy one themselves.

Essentially, outsourcing of computer programs is cloud computing. Using cloud computing, users are able to access software and applications from wherever they are. Location of the service, and many of the details such as the hardware or operating system on which it is running, are largely irrelevant to the user. This means that users do not have to worry about things such as storage and power, they can simply enjoy the end result.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage

In general, there are four cloud computing characteristics that are common among all cloud-computing vendors :

  • Elastic resources — Scale up or down quickly and easily to meet demand
  • Metered service so you only pay for what you use
  • Self service — All the IT resources you need with self-service access
  • The back-end of the application (especially hardware) is completely managed by a cloud vendor.

Why Cloud Computing ?

The amount and variety of hardware and software required to run traditional business applications are very complicated and expensive. Companies need a whole team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them. With so much complexities and cost involved, Small and midsize businesses don’t stand a chance in tradtional system.

But with cloud coming in picture, all the headaches of managing software and hardware is gone. Cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud , Microsoft Azure takes care of all the infra structure required. Manpower required is very less and also the cost of running business on cloud is very low as compared to traditional approach.

Advantages of Cloud Computing :

There are lot of advantages of cloud computing technology. The important advantages of cloud computing are given below :

1. Lower IT Infrastructure Cost :

No need to invest heavily in data centers and servers. Also no need of huge manpower to maintain those servers and data centers.

2. Pay Per Use:

Pay for what you consume. If you are not sure how much you will consume, no need to invest big. This feature makes cloud go to option for small organisations and start ups.Cloud computing typically does not involve long-term commitment to use the computing infrastructure. The vendor does not enforce long-term usage of services.

3. Location And Device Independence :

Cloud computing vendor allows the users to use web service and resources on demand. Since the cloud computing vendor provides services over the web,these are available from any location and on any device e.g. PC, mobile phone etc. It gives universal access to the services they offers.

4. Multi Sharing And Resource Pooling :

Cloud computing allows multiple tenants to share a pool of resources.With the help of cloud computing,
multiple users and applications can work more efficiently with cost reductions by sharing common hardware, database and basic infrastructure.

5. High Scalability :

Cloud infrastructure scales on demand to support fluctuating workloads. Scalability is one of the most attractive prospects in cloud computing.It is very easy to scale up or down the resource at any time.

6. High Availability And Fast :

With just a few clicks, applications can be deployed and available across the globe with minimal of cost. Availability of servers is high and more reliable, because servers are managed by cloud computing vendors and chances of infrastructure failure are minimal.

7. Lower Maintenance Cost :

With cloud computing, maintenance is reduced as servers are manged by cloud vendors.It also reduces the software cost because you don’t need to purchase individual software packages for each computer in the company.

Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing :

Although cloud computing has lots of advantages, but still it has few disadvantages as well. Listed below are few disadvantages :

1. Require High Speed Internet :

Cloud computing is impossible without internet connection.High speed internet connection is required to access any applications, documents or to do downloading from web based apps.

2. Security Concerns For Data :

Although cloud computing vendors claim that data is 100% secure but still security concerns are there. With cloud computing, all your data is stored in the cloud. and you never know how secure cloud is. This is the reason why financial organisations are still hesitant to use cloud computing for their confidential data and prefer on premise solutions only.

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