What is cloud computing?
Internet has been represented by the symbol cloud for years. In any meetings or presentations cloud has always been the symbol for internet. The name cloud computing originated from the same representation. It was coined by an Indian. There are many definitions available over the internet for cloud computing.Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product. Be it network,storage, servers, and platform, everything is delivered as a service like we use electricity in our homes. In cloud computing IT related capabilities are provided to users as a material service over the network.It means all IT related functionality can be used just using a computer and an internet connection.
Why cloud computing?
There is an unquenchable thirst for collaboration and sharing. We can work anywhere at anytime. You can work at home , traveling etc.You have to pay for what ever resources you want to use. For instance lets say you want to open up a website for a campaign for presidential election. So the website will be alive for few months. you might receive unexpected traffic to website. In such a case there is a chance of website crash if you go with traditional hosting services, since it cant scale out and in based on needs. The main reason is, traditional hosting services provides hosting with fixed storage and bandwidth, scalaing in and out is a tedious process. Here is where cloud computing comes in to play.Cloud servers can scale out according to your needs. You have to pay for what resources you have used. You can stop and start the services wherever needed. Unlike traditional hosting services you have to pay only when your services are up and running. So all we need is a less cost oriented computing service that makes life easy. The approach cloud computing helps us in order to attain such service over the internet.
There are many services provides by public cloud providers over the internet. Few are shown below
- Database as a service
- API as a service
- Security as a service
- CRM as a service
- Desktop as a service
- Testing environment as a service etc….
Every cloud service comes under one category mentioned below
- IaaS(Infrastructure as a service)
- PaaS(platform as a service)
- SaaS(Software as a service or software as a service)
Infrastructure as a service is the backbone of cloud computing. It lets you deploy servers using windows and Linux distros in minutes. Your servers will be up and running in just minutes. Each and every IT infrastructure is virtualized and provided as a server over internet. Amazon is the leading IaaS provider. Amazon provides virtual servers, databases, storage network etc..These services can be deployed without much programming language.
With cloud services, the investment of millions of dollars on development foundation is reduced by providing platform as a service over the network. PaaS will provide the platform on the web.Cost and complexity is very much reduced by the PaaS provider.
Eg: Google App Engine: You can run your java, php, perl, ruby and many more applications on Google App Engine.
Lets say , you want a software which will be used by your company only once or twice in a month and it costs 5000 dollars. And our friend who has a cloud service which offers the same software through web which will be billed per hour basis and you have to pay only for what have you used used . So that you can stop the service if not needed. By this approach you can can use the software’s which are too expensive to buy for testing purposes. Medium sized businesses gets benifitted from this service since they cant afford to use all the expensive software’s. All they need is a computer , browser and network connection. It eliminates the need to install and run application on the customers own computer.
SalesForce.com is a great example for Software as a Service. They offer CRM solutions, Databases as a service over the internet. Just using any mobile device which has a browser can access the services.