OK, so what is cloud computing? it’s not as complicated as some people think …. Let’s demystify this and get down to the short of it …..
Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.
These services are broadly divided into three categories:
(and more are being thought of everyday… like BaaS and DaaS, all boiling down to “Something” as a service)
The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that’s often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting:
It is sold on demand, typically by the minute, hour or month.
It is elastic — a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time
The service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access)
A cloud can be private or public:
A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. A virtual private cloud is when a service provider uses public cloud resources to create their own private cloud.
Private or public, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.
Software-as-a-service: The vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. SaaS is a very broad market. Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control and database processing. Because the service provider hosts both the application and the data, the end user is free to use the service from anywhere. (This is the main use of cloud computing, with services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Lync, Skype, and Microsoft Office 365.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service: Virtual infrastructure and servers established and provided by an cloud services provider, which give the customer the ability to start, stop, access and configure their virtual servers and storage. In the enterprise, cloud computing allows a company to pay for only as much capacity as is needed, and bring more online as soon as required. Because this pay-for-what-you-use model resembles the way electricity, fuel and water are consumed, it’s sometimes referred to as utility computing. (This is the back-end IT cloud computing, such as Microsoft Hyper-V Microsoft System Center for private clouds; Microsoft Azure and Windows Intune (for public clouds.)
Platform-as-a-service: A set of software and product development tools hosted on the provider’s infrastructure. Developers create applications on the provider’s platform over the Internet. (This is like when people build their own web applications that use Bing maps, that is using a public platform as a service).
That’s it … see, it wasn’t as complicated as you think. 😉 — tone’