In one way or another, you are, or your computer is, dealing with cloud computing on, shockingly, daily basis. You may now, as a user, experience the cloud computing with the icloud technology from apple or google cloud, especially if you use Chrome OS. Cloud computing is the kind of technology that offers software as a service and not a product.
What makes it even better is that it offers pay per usage kind of service which means you don’t have to buy the software and go through the headache of installing it on your computer and use precious space on your limited hard disk for softwares that are vital for your work yet are not being used as frequent. With the help of cloud computing, the storage space available for you to back up your data has increased from a number of gigabyte or terabytes to virtually unlimited. Such service is offered by number companies, such as justcloud.com, mypcbackup.com and many others at very cheap rates.
What differentiates Cloud computing from other forms of hosting is that it is sold on demand so you are, usually, charged per minute or hour. Due it is elasticity you can use as little or as much of it so all you basically need is a computer and of course internet access.
So what is cloud computing all about?
First off I would like to start with some history. Cloud computing is not as new as you may think the idea itself dates back to the 1960s by John McCarthy who stated that “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” Even before that, scientist Herb Grosch assumed that sooner or later the entire world would operate on dumb terminals powered by 15 data centers. So the idea itself is not new it’s just that nowadays it’s becoming increasingly popular if not necessary.
Now, let us dive in for more and explore some of what cloud computing has to offer.
(SaaS) Software as a Service:
Software as a service is used to convey a single application, through a browser, to various users using multitenant architectures. The cloud providers themselves install and operate the software you want to use without you having to go through installing the software on your computer hence lower costs on the consumer side. At the same time, the provider of the software will be having lower costs as well as there will be no DVDs to burn and no packaging at all so only the software to maintain. A good example of SaaS would be google apps.
(PaaS) Platform as a Service:
Plate form as a service is rather a variation of SaaS where you can build your own application that will be run in the provider’s own infrastructure and will be delivered through the internet from the servers of the provider. So maybe one day softwares like adobe photoshop will be available via the cloud and you do not have to install it at all.
This idea sounds great since you will pay per usage and no licensing fees will occur. However, on the down side, you will be constrained within the provider’s specification and options that he will make available for you hence limiting your freedom and maybe practicality. Common examples of Platform as a service could be google app engine and yahoo Pipes.
(MSP) Managed Service Provider
This sort of cloud computing is rather ancient and aimed mainly at the provider’s side and not the end-user. Such as e-mail scanning g services offered by Norton/Symantec that are now used by yahoo mail. So MSP’s responsibility is to provide you with safe and relevant files to download since it can help in the prevention of spam as well.
(IaaS) Infrastructure as a Service:
In this most basic cloud computing, services offered include raw storage, firewalls, networks and load balancers. These services are usually supplied from the provider’s large pools that are installed in data centers. LAN networks and their IP addresses can utilize such services as well. As for wide area networks, the internet can be used or dedicated VPNs instead This sort of service is used by organizations to outsource the equipment used to support their operations including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The provider will be the one owning the main equipment and will be the one responsible for operating and maintaining it. The client using this service will usually be paying per usage.
The above were barely some of the examples of cloud technology it goes on and on. The cloud technology is in continuous evolving. What is the aim? Well, probably in the next 10 years, or sooner…….much much sooner, computers will be made up of a screen, a keyboard, a mouse and a cloud with all the applications and softwares you could possibly think of thus cutting down on your hardware cost and expensive operating systems. The idea is not as recent as you may think, as I mentioned earlier the notion dates back to the 1950s.
This article is just an introduction to cloud computing if you would like to find out more do look forward to my next articles.