Cloud computing is using web based resources to create, store, access, share and back-up data that can be created, stored, etc from any computer anywhere in the world. It could be common and mundane as creating a Facebook page to creating a multi-user database that can be accessed by many.
Infrastructure as a service – Web Hosting like Lessfeet.com is hosted on Godaddy.com servers.
Software as a service – You access applications on a remote server. Example: Google Docs, GMail, Yahoo Mail, Zoho Office, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed (like Twitter but more and better), delicious (social bookmatks), Flickr (photo sharing), etc.
Hardware as a service – Your computer uses the resources (hardrive space & CPU cycles) of remote computers to do work. Examples: Amazon S3 Storage and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2 for short), Payed Services
Example: Acme Widget Company has 6 very small stores. Their customers are contractors who could go to any of their 6 stores within a 100 mile radius of Louisville. Their customers like going to AWC because of their service, knowledge of the products and their selection of high quality widgets. Acme is a very small family owned company who could never afford to hire consultants, technicians and programmers to set up and maintain a server that contained a database that can be accessed by all of the stores in real-time. So Acme calls on Amazon to host their database. Amazon’s EC2 has many preconfigured databases to choose from one of which would work perfectly for the little widget company. The data is continually backed-up on multiple disk so there no data lost. It is encrypted so it can’t be intercepted by someone on its way to Amazon and it can’t accessed by Amazon. Acme is only charged a small fee for the data uploaded storage and accessed. AWC has plans to expand to many more locations and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud can easily expand right along with them.
Advantages of the cloud
- You can access the cloud application from anywhere.
- All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. No hardware or software to buy.
- Many of the Applications are free.
- You don’t have to know how to configure the hardware or software. If you’re a business you don’t have to hire a full-time IT guy to stand around waiting for things to break.
- Some service can be accessed by many users to share and collaborate.
- Because your data is stored in the cloud if your computer crashes your data is still safe.