One of the new fad words in the information and communication technology (ICT) community is "Cloud Computing." But, what exactly is cloud computing? How does it affect you as a person, as a user of internet technology? For a while know, the internet has be called other names like "The net" and "The Cloud." Obviously, the term 'cloud' has been in circulation for a long time and cloud computing apparently is an offspring, a product of the generic 'cloud.'
This model is a specialized network built and being operated for just one organization or company. In most cases of private cloud computing.
This model is when a community or group of businesses and related organizations come together to setup a cloud computing network.
This network type can also be built and managed by a third party contracted for the job or by the organizations themselves. The technology and infrastructure is built and managed by a third party, but ultimately, it is for the use of a single company or organization. Some other network model types include:
A constantly evolving beast, cloud computing is an aggregate of servers, database storage farms, application software and platforms connected as a network. This is retrieved using the appropriate protocol and sent to the user requesting it, with the IP address serving as a homing beacon for the retrieved information to be delivered to the right person. And not just an ordinary network, but one engineered to be able to share resources as quickly as possible based on the demands and requests of the user. Essentially, cloud computing provides a platform where providers can have on demand services that can be requested from anywhere in the world. The services are put online and made available to users from the cloud without the provider having to get and operate their own database and server farms. A lot of providers are in the market that offer cloud computing services for individuals, businesses and corporate entities. The pricing by these providers are generally competitive and there are options for how long you want them to provide cloud computing services for your product.
As at now, there are three fundamental models for cloud computing in use, these service models are:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is set up to provide subscribers with cloud computing as an infrastructure through which they can operate and conduct their network-based operations. Control of specified infrastructure like operating systems, servers, database storage devices and security protocols and devices are given to the subscriber. In essence, with IaaS, the subscriber is leasing the cloud computing base infrastructure. The subscriber is in total control of what is running on the network and when. IaaS is generally used on medium to long term basis. Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides subscribers with the capability to use providers’ server platforms and computer resources to host and run their personal applications. The provider is still in full control of the network infrastructure like server, operating system, security devices. Control of the applications being run and the runtime environment are left in the customer’s hands.
Software as a Service (SaaS) provides subscribers with usage of the cloud computing infrastructure provider’s network to perform the needed tasks. Subscribers access the provider’s software applications via their personal terminals connected to the internet. This is carried out from the web browsers of the subscribers. The ability to keep and store information, both personal and corporate, plus the ability to access and retrieve the stored information from virtually anywhere is about the biggest advantage of cloud computing. There are other models apart from the public domain model of cloud computing, where cloud computing services are offered to the general public by providers.
This model is a mix of all other cloud computing models. It is complex network of elements, with features of private, public and community models running common technologies. Cloud computing is definitely the in thing now, with lots of businesses and organizations exploring ways they can take advantage of it. The technology is here to stay, but it’s up to organizations to weigh the pros and cons and see if it will be a worthy investment for their business.
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