Previously we wrote about Cloud Server and Cloud Hosting Services. In this article, we will go in to a bit detail on Cloud Computing in simple, easy language.
What is Cloud Computing?
The easiest way to explain the concept of Cloud Computing would be that cloud computing is what everyone has been using the web 2.0. Otherwise can be defined as cloud computing is the tendency to base applications externally hosted services, out of the website.
The users are actually using the cloud computing without realizing it. When you are using the Sky Drive, Hotmail, Gmail : all are in the cloud. Cloud computing is to access resources that are somewhere over the Internet. It can be accessed for free, as is the case of emails or by premium subscription with a guaranteed service level. Virtually the power is infinite. Businesses use cloud computing with Rackspace.com to combine all their processes on one server.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Cloud Computing is mostly economic. If you are a very small company, it will launch a service without any capital investment in hardware.
Thus, with cloud computing, virtually with no start-up software and hardware investment you are getting a heavy equipment today. The second advantage is being able to benefit from economies of scale that have an economic impact. For example, resources that are not used by the Indian companies at night, the companies are on the other side of the planet, such as U.S. can use that resource. We will discuss about collocation later.
Cloud Computing is like a machine with unlimited resource that runs 24 hours and 7 days a week and all those resources are shared.
Characteristics of cloud computing
- Cloud Computing is self healing : In case of failure, the last backup of the application automatically becomes the primary copy.
- Cloud Computing offers high scalability: The whole architecture is predictable and efficient. It is not one computer or server : it is thousands of computers that can handle the situation.
- Cloud Computing is a Multipurpose Virtualization system
- In Cloud Computing, it is not possible to know, where your data is physically present.
Examples of Cloud Computing
- Most Google Applications including Picasa, Gmail, Appspot.
- Microsoft Azure
- Amazon Web Services
- Rackspace Cloud Hosting
Is Content Delivery Network (CDN) is basically Cloud Computing?
Yes and No. Rackspace for example provides Cloud CDN. To qualify to use the term Cloud Computing, it have to pass the essential characteristics.
Criticism of Cloud Computing
- Cloud Computing increases the dependency of Internet usage.
- As appropriately said by Richard Stallman “One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control ¦ It™s just as bad as using a proprietary program.” (Reference of quotation : The Gaurdian)
- Cloud computing gives access to all the digital information to third parties with limited exception of Private Clouds.