Among the internet users, the term ‘cloud’ is used as a metaphor. Cloud-computing can be interpreted as a kind of Internet-based or dedicated network-based usage of shared resources like application software and databases by which different computer peripherals as well as database can be used on-demand from anywhere. More lucidly, if one can access any files or software that is not stored in the user’s computer hard drive, then the user is certainly using the Cloud Computing services.
John McCarthy can be regarded as Father of Cloud Computing. In 1960, he brought up the idea of using computers with remotely kept files and application software as a form of centralized infrastructure. It was a revolutionary idea or game changer on how to store files and applications in a centralized storage.
From technical aspects Cloud Computing is nothing but an abstraction between the underlying technical and structural design (e.g., networks, storage, and servers) and its computer resources that enable convenient as well as on-demand access to a shared pool of databases in a cloud server within the network.
One of the most popular Internet-based Cloud Computing services is Google Docs. It provides web-based word processing applications, spreadsheets and presentation as well as calendar and many other functions. Besides photo albums, videos can be also stored in such cloud storage.
Cloud Computing Comes in Different Architectural Layers:
- Software as a service or SaaS
- Platform as a service or PaaS
- Infrastructure as a service or IaaS
Advantages of Cloud Computing:
- Software as a form of Subscription
- Reduced Software Maintenance
- Increased Reliability
- Increased Scalability
- Cost Reduction
- Environmentally Friendly
- Matches Current Computing Trends
- Efficient Use of Computer Resources
- Version Less Software
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing:
- Sometimes very costly to users
- Business may get hampered in case of connectivity problem
- Privacy concerns