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I m sure you ve heard the following two words being used extensively online in the last couple of years. Cloud Computing. The next time you read something about a service that mentions Cloud , you will immediately know what they mean by that, and what exactly cloud computing is and how does it work.
What is Cloud Computing and how does it work, explained in simple terms?
Actually, you ve been using cloud computing all this time, unless you were living in a cave somewhere, and that cave somehow didn t have an internet connection.
So let me put this in as simple terms as possible:
Cloud Computing is the ability to use the power of other computers (located somewhere else) and their software, via the Internet (or sometimes other networks), without the need to own them. They are being provided to you, as a service .
That means you don t have to go and buy some super powerful gigantic computer system and risk have it sitting there, doing nothing. By utilizing the cloud, everything is ready for you whenever you might need it. Exactly where the hardware and software is located and how it all works doesn t matter to you, as a user. It s just somewhere up in the vast cloud that the Internet represents.
Now you know one of the reasons they call it the Cloud Computing.
For example, many businesses use cloud computing as a means of remote backup solutions to store and recover their data offsite.
To illustrate the point even better, let s go over one typical example of cloud computing that you must have used before (exception are those with the cave thing from above).
Google as an example of cloud computing
What happens when you type and search something on Google?
Have you ever thought about this? Does your PC go through all that information, sorts it out for you and display all the relevant results? No, it doesn t. Otherwise, you would wait much longer for a simple results page to display. A simple PC can t process all those billions of websites in a fraction of a second, like Google does. Your PC only serves as a messenger to tell Google what you are looking for. Everything else is done by some of Google s powerful computers located somewhere, Who-Knows-Where in the world.
Now, did you ever care about how or where that comes from? Why would you, right? Exactly. That s a great example of how cloud computing is used.
At this point, I m sure you understand what cloud computing is and the basic idea behind it. If that s everything you wanted to know, you can stop here, and go enjoy your life knowing what Cloud Computing is. If you are interested in just a little tiny bit more about it, continue reading to the end (not long from here).
3 Types of Cloud Computing
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is basically when you buy raw computing hardware to use over the net, usually servers, or online storage. You buy what you need and pay-as-you-go. The best and the most basic example of this type of cloud computing is buying a web hosting for your website. You pay monthly fee to a hosting company for the storage on their servers and to have them serve up files for your website from those servers. Another good example of someone who provides these types of cloud services would be RackSpace cloud company .
2. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a case where you use the complete software application that s running on someone else s servers. The best example of this is Google Docs. which you can use for creating and storing text documents, presentations, spreadsheets and so on
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is case where you create applications using web-based tools so they run on systems software and hardware provided by another company. As an example, consider a situation where you develop your own e-commerce website but have the whole thing, including the shopping cart, checkout, and payment mechanism running on a merchant s server.
That should be all you need to know to get you started.
As you can see, the idea behind cloud computing is very powerful and useful beyond measure. Especially now when you actually know what it is.
Credit for a great comic image used above goes to CloudTweaks .
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