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WHAT IS CLOUD?
Computing as a service over the Internet
Cloud computing, often referred to as
simply “the cloud”, is the delivery
of on-demand computing resources—everything
from applications to data centres—over the
Internet on a pay-for-use basis.
the practice of using a network of remote servers
hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process
data, rather than a local server or a personal
Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery
of hosted services over the Internet.
Cloud computing enables companies to consume
compute resources as a utility -- just like electricity -- rather than having to build and maintain computing
Cloud computing promises several attractive benefits for businesses and end users. Three of the main benefits
of cloud computing includes:
Cloud computing is defined as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than
having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Cloud computing is comparable to grid
computing, a type of computing where unused processing cycles of all computers in a network are harnesses to
solve problems too intensive for any stand-alone machine.
In cloud computing, the word cloud (also phrased as "the cloud") is used as a metaphor for "the Internet," so the
phrase cloud computing means "a type of Internet-based computing," where different services — such as
servers, storage and applications — are delivered to an organization's computers and devices through the
What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all questions you've probably heard
or even asked yourself. The term "cloud computing" is everywhere.
In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead
of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of
flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as
nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.
What cloud computing is not about is your hard drive. When you store data on or run programs from the hard
drive, that's called local storage and computing. Everything you need is physically close to you, which means
accessing your data is fast and easy, for that one computer, or others on the local network. Working off your
hard drive is how the computer industry functioned for decades; some would argue it's still superior to cloud
computing, for reasons I'll explain shortly.
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The cloud is also not about having dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware or server in residence.
Storing data on a home or office network does not count as utilizing the cloud. (However, some NAS will let
you remotely access things over the Internet, and there's at least one NAS named "My Cloud," just to keep
For it to be considered "cloud computing," you need to access your data or your programs over the Internet, or
at the very least, have that data synchronized with other information over the Web. In a big business, you may
know all there is to know about what's on the other side of the connection; as an individual user, you may never
have any idea what kind of massive data-processing is happening on the other end. The end result is the same:
with an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime.
History of Cloud Computing
The Internet has its roots in the 1960s, but it wasn't until the early 1990s that it had any relevance for
businesses. The World Wide Web was born in 1991, and in 1993 a web browser called Mosaic was released
that allowed users to view web pages that included graphics as well as text. This heralded the first company web
sites – and not surprisingly, most of these belonged to companies involved in computing and technology.
As Internet connections got faster and more reliable, a new type of company called an Application Service
Provider or ASP started to appear. ASPs took existing business applications and ran them for their customers.
The ASP would buy the computing hardware and keeping the application running, and the customer would pay
a monthly fee to access it over the Internet.
But it wasn't until right at the end of the 1990s that cloud computing as we know it today appeared. That's when
salesforce.com introduced its own multi-tenant application which was specifically designed:
to run "in the cloud";
to be accessed over the Internet from a web browser;
to be used by large numbers of customers simultaneously at low cost.
Since then the cloud has grown and grown: in 2013 worldwide spending on cloud servicets ran to an estimated
$47 billion. And that's set to more than double to over $108 billion by 2017 as companies invest in cloud
services as the foundation for new, competitive offerings.
Consumer vs. Business
Let's be clear here. We're talking about cloud computing as it impacts
individual consumers—those of us who sit back at home or in small-to-
medium offices and use the Internet on a regular basis.
There is an entirely different "cloud" when it comes to business. Some
businesses choose to implement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), where the
business subscribes to an application it accesses over the Internet. (Think
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Salesforce.com.) There's also Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), where a business can create its own custom
applications for use by all in the company. And don't forget the mighty Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where
players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace provide a backbone that can be "rented out" by other
companies. (For example, Netflix provides services to you because it's a customer of the cloud-services at
forget the mighty Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and
Rackspace provide a backbone that can be "rented out" by other companies. (For example, Netflix provides
services to you because it's a customer of the cloud-services at Amazon.)
Of course, cloud computing is big business: The market was already generating $100 billion a year in
2012. It could be $270 billion by the year 2020.
• Self-service provisioning: End users can spin up computing resources for almost any type of workload on-
• Elasticity: Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands
• Pay per use: Computing resources are measured at a granular level, allowing users to pay only for the
resources and workloads they use.
Cloud computing services can be private, public or hybrid.
Public clouds are owned and operated by companies that use them to offer rapid access to affordable computing
resources to other organizations or individuals. With public cloud services, users don’t need to purchase
hardware, software or supporting infrastructure, which is owned and managed by providers. In the public cloud
model, a third-party provider delivers the cloud service over the Internet. Public cloud services are sold on-
demand, typically by the minute or the hour. Customers only pay for the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth they
consume. Leading public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure,
IBM/Soft Layer and Google Compute Engine.
A private cloud is owned and operated by a single company that controls the way virtualized resources and
automated services are customized and used by various lines of business and constituent groups. Private clouds
exist to take advantage of many of cloud’s efficiencies, while providing more control of resources and steering
clear of multi-tenancy. Private cloud services are delivered from a business' data center to internal users. This
model offers versatility and convenience, while preserving management, control and security. Internal
customers may or may not be billed for services through IT chargeback.
A hybrid cloud uses a private cloud foundation combined with the strategic use of public cloud services. The
reality is a private cloud can’t exist in isolation from the rest of a company’s IT resources and the public cloud.
Most companies with private clouds will evolve to manage workloads across data centers, private clouds and
public clouds—thereby creating hybrid clouds.
Hybrid cloud is a combination of public cloud services and on-premises private cloud – with orchestration and
automation between the two. Companies can run mission-critical workloads or sensitive applications on the
private cloud while using the public cloud for busty workloads that must scale on-demand. The goal of hybrid
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cloud is to create a unified, automated, scalable environment which takes advantage of all that a public cloud
infrastructure can provide, while still maintaining control over mission-critical data.
Saas, Paas and IaaS in the Mobile Industry
Although cloud computing has changed over time, it
has always been divided into three broad service
categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS),
platform as a service (PaaS) and software as service
IaaSproviders such as AWS supply a virtual server
instance and storage, as well as application program
interfaces (APIs) that let users migrate workloads to a
virtual machine (VM). Users have an allocated storage
capacity and start, stop, access and configure the VM
and storage as desired. IaaS providers offer small,
medium, large, extra-large, and memory- or compute-optimized instances, in addition to customized instances,
for various workload needs.
In the PaaS model, providers host development tools on their infrastructures. Users access those tools over
the Internet using APIs, Web portals or gateway software. PaaS is used for general software development and
many PaaS providers will host the software after it's developed. Common PaaS providers include
Salesforce.com's Force.com, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine.
SaaS is a distribution model that delivers software applications over the Internet; these are often called
Web services. Microsoft Office 365 is a SaaS
offering for productivity software and email
services. Users can accessSaaS applications and
services from any location using a computer or mobile
device that has Internet access
How Cloud Computing Works
The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional
supercomputing, or high-performance computing
power, normally used by military and research
facilities, to perform tens of trillions of computations
per second, in consumer-oriented applications such as
financial portfolios, to deliver personalized
information, to provide data storage or to power large,
immersive online computer games.
To do this, cloud computing uses networks of large groups of servers typically running low-cost consumer PC
technology with specialized connections to spread data-processing chores across them. This shared IT
infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used
to maximize the power of cloud computing.
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What are the advantages of SaaS cloud applications?
First, there’s no software to purchase, install, update or maintain, which is handled by the service providers. As
You can sign up and rapidly start using cloud apps
Apps and data are accessible from any connected computer
No data is lost if your computer breaks, as data is in the cloud
The service is able to dynamically scale to the usage needs of your organisation.
Cloud Computing Standards
The standards for connecting the computer systems and the software needed to make cloud computing work are
not fully defined at present time, leaving many companies to define their own cloud computing technologies.
Cloud computing systems offered by companies, like IBM's "Blue Cloud" technologies for example, are based
on open standards and open source software which link together computers that are used to deliver Web 2.0
capabilities like mash-ups or mobile commerce.
Cloud Computing in the Data Center and for Small Business
Cloud computing has started to obtain mass appeal in corporate data centers as it enables the data center to
operate like the Internet through the process of enabling computing resources to be accessed and shared as
virtual resources in a secure and scalable manner.
For a small and medium size business (SMB), the benefits of cloud computing is currently driving adoption. In
the SMB sector there is often a lack of time and financial resources to purchase, deploy and maintain an
infrastructure (e.g. the software, server and storage).
In cloud computing, small businesses can access these resources and expand or shrink services as business
needs change. The common pay-as-you-go subscription model is designed to let SMBs easily add or remove
services and you typically will only pay for what you do use.
Scale up or down quickly and easily to meet demand
Pay for use
Metered service so you only pay for what you use
All the IT resources you need with self-service access
Cloud computing services
Software as a service (SaaS)
Cloud-based applications—or software as a service (SaaS)—run on distant computers “in the cloud” that are
owned and operated by others and that connect to users’ computers via the Internet and, usually, a web browser.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a service provides a cloud-based environment with everything required to support the complete
lifecycle of building and delivering web-based (cloud) applications—without the cost and complexity of buying
and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
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Infrastructure as a service provides companies with computing resources including servers, networking, storage,
and data centre space on a pay-per-use basis.
Cloud computing deployment models
Advantages of Cloud Computing
If used properly and to the extent necessary, working with data in the cloud can vastly benefit all types of
businesses. Mentioned below are some of the advantages of this technology:
Why Cloud Computing Is Ideal for Small
Cloud computing is probably the most cost
efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade.
Traditional desktop software costs companies
a lot in terms of finance. Adding up the
licensing fees for multiple users can prove to
be very expensive for the establishment
concerned. The cloud, on the other hand, is
available at much cheaper rates and hence, can
significantly lower the company’s IT
expenses. Besides, there are many one-time-
payments, pay-as-you-go and other scalable
options available, which makes it very
reasonable for the company in question.
Almost Unlimited Storage
Storing information in the cloud gives you almost unlimited storage capacity. Hence, you no more need to
worry about running out of storage space or increasing your current storage space availability.
Backup and Recovery
Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than
storing the same on a physical device. Furthermore, most cloud service providers are usually competent enough
to handle recovery of information. Hence, this makes the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler
than other traditional methods of data storage.
Automatic Software Integration
In the cloud, software integration is usually something that occurs automatically. This means that you do not
need to take additional efforts to customize and integrate your applications as per your preferences. This aspect
usually takes care of itself. Not only that, cloud computing allows you to customize your options with great
ease. Hence, you can handpick just those services and software applications that you think will best suit your
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Easy Access to Information
Once you register yourself in the cloud, you can access
the information from anywhere, where there is an
Internet connection. This convenient feature lets you
move beyond time zone and geographic location issues.
Cloud Computing – Is it Possible to Assign a
Lastly and most importantly, cloud computing gives
you the advantage of quick deployment. Once you opt
for this method of functioning, your entire system can
be fully functional in a matter of a few minutes. Of
course, the amount of time taken here will depend on
the exact kind of technology that you need for your
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
In spite of its many benefits, as mentioned above, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. Businesses,
especially smaller ones, need to be aware of these cons before going in for this technology.
The Risks Involved in Cloud Computing
Though it is true that information and data on the cloud can be accessed anytime and from anywhere at all, there
are times when this system can have some serious dysfunction. You should be aware of the fact that this
technology is always prone to outages and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service providers run into
this kind of trouble, in spite of keeping up high standards of maintenance. Besides, you will need a very good
Internet connection to be logged onto the server at all times. You will invariably be stuck in case of network and
Security in the Cloud
The other major issue while in the cloud is that of security issues. Before adopting this technology, you should
know that you will be surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service
provider. This could potentially put your company to great risk. Hence, you need to make absolutely sure that
you choose the most reliable service provider, who will keep your information totally secure.
What Strategies Should an Enterprise Adopt in Order to Ensure Data Protection?
Prone to Attack
Storing information in the cloud could make your company vulnerable to external hack attacks and threats. As
you are well aware, nothing on the Internet is completely secure and hence, there is always the lurking
possibility of stealth of sensitive data.
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Computing as a service over the Internet
Cloud computing, often referred to as simply “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources—
everything from applications to data centres—over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.
1. Elastic resources
Scale up or down quickly and easily to meet demand
2. Pay for use
Metered service so you only pay for what you use
3. Self Service
All the IT resources you need with self-service access
Like everything else, cloud computing too has its pros and cons. While the technology can prove to be a great
asset to your company, it could also cause harm if not understood and used properly. Cloud Computing and
Security: What Enterprises Should KnowCloud Computing Applications
The applications of cloud computing are practically limitless. With the right middleware, acloud computing
system could execute all the programs a normal computer could run. Potentially, everything from generic word
processing software to customized computer programs designed for a specific company could work on a cloud
computing system. Why would anyone want to rely on another computer system to run programs and store
data? Here are just a few reasons:Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere
atany time. They could access the cloud computing system using any computerlinked to the Internet. Data
wouldn't be confined to a hard drive on one user’s computer or even a corporation's internal network. It could
bring hardware costs down. Cloud computing systems would reducethe need for advanced hardware on the
client side. You wouldn't need to buythe fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system
wouldtake care of those needs for you. Instead, you could buy an inexpensivecomputer terminal. The terminal
could include a monitor, input devices like a
Keyboard and mouse and just enough processing power to run the middlewarenecessary to connect to the cloud
system. You wouldn't need a large hard drivebecause you'd store all your information on a remote computer.
Corporations that rely on computers have to make sure they have the rightsoftware in place to achieve goals.
Cloud computing systems give theseorganizations company-wide access to computer applications. The
companiesdon't have to buy a set of software or software licenses for every employee.Instead, the company
could pay a metered fee to a cloud computing company.
Servers and digital storage devices take up space. Some companies rentphysical space to store servers and
databases because they don't have itavailable on site. Cloud computing gives these companies the option of
storingdata on someone else's hardware, removing the need for physical space on thefront end.
Corporations might save money on IT support. Streamlined hardware would, intheory, have fewer problems
than a network of heterogeneous machines andoperating systems.If the cloud computing system's back end is a
grid computing system, then the client could take advantage of the entire network's processing power.
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Often,scientists and researchers work with calculations so complex that it would takeyears for individual
computers to complete them. On a grid computing system,the client could send the calculation to the cloud for
processing. The cloudsystem would tap into the processing power of all available computers on theback end,
significantly speeding up the calculation.While the benefits of cloud computing seem convincing, are there any
Find out in the next section.
Who all are in Cloud Computing
Some of the companies researching cloud computing are big names in the computerindustry. Microsoft, IBM
and Google are investing millions of dollars into research. Somepeople think Apple might investigate the
possibility of producing interface hardware for cloud computing systems.