What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the use of delivering hosted services over the internet. Information is provided to the computers involved on demand. With cloud computing you’re accessing services and different resources to perform jobs with changing and dynamic needs. An application can access the cloud for a service instead of standing and non-dynamic resource typically provided. The cloud can manage multiple infrastructures and ties all resources needed together and will give access to services when needed which prevents services from running when they aren’t needed which can save valuable resources. Many cloud computing infrastructures are data centers that deliver the different on demand services. The cloud maintains itself and all of it’s resources only requiring people to maintain the actual hardware and operating systems in complete working order for the cloud to run effectively. Many companies are now investing in cloud computing and research groups are researching new ways to put it to good use. Some experts say cloud computing is the way of the future and predict that it will be widely used in the near future.
History of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing first came into concept back in the 1960′s when John McCarthy proposed that computers may some day be organized in a method that would involve it acting as a public utility. Telecommunication companies began offering VPN (Virtual Private Network) services during the 90′s that were much lower in cost then their at the time offered point-to-point data circuits that provided their services. The cloud symbol represents the difference between the user’s and providers responsibilities. In 2007, major companies such as IBM, Google, Amazon (although Amazon helped development of cloud computing earlier on as well), and different school universities created a huge cloud computing research project which allowed many to see the prospects of cloud computing and the positive effects it could have on IT users and those who sell IT services. Cloud computing has been predicted to be put to use by nearly 80 percent of fortune 500 companies by the year 2012 and will continue to grow in use as the years go by.
The 5 Layers: How Cloud Computing Works
To understand the technical aspects of cloud computing you need to understand the five distinct layers involved in cloud computing.
- The first layer is the client layer which focuses on the hardware and software that use cloud computing for delivery of on demand services to end users. Operating systems, web browsers, and computers are all examples of being contained in the client layer.
- The second layer is the application layer in which cloud applications provide software over the internet as a service without having to install the software on the user’s computer and letting the software run when needed instead of all the time wasting precious system resources.
- The third layer is the platform layer which delivers a computer platform used as a service which helps save money by taking out the need to by computer hardware and software as cloud computing provides a platform to use applications.
- The fourth layer is the infrastructure layer which usually defines a platform virtualization environment as a service there by eliminating the need of buying servers, renting data server space and network equipment. Users can use the infrastructures and be billed like a utility service there for saving them a lot of money that can be spent in other places.
- The last and fifth layer of cloud computing is the server layer. The server layer is all the necessary computer hardware and server software that is involved in providing the cloud computing services to clients and their users.
All five of these layers create the cloud computing model and are essential in the development and use of cloud computing and it’s services.
Cloud computing offers many benefits for a wide variety of uses and benefits for companies looking to employ it’s use in their work environments. The benefits are the main reason why large companies have adopted cloud computing in it’s early stages and why more businesses will obtain cloud computing in the near future.
One of the main benefits and top key feature of cloud computing is it’s scalability. Organizations that offer cloud computing can offer companies more power and more hardware and software when they are needed instead of companies having to go through the hassle of securing additional hardware and software themselves. This benefit let’s companies worry less when their needs change or conditions require them to seek more data/server capabilities.
Another benefit is the reduced costs that comes with the use of cloud computing. No longer do companies have to use features of services they don’t need and they only have to pay for the technology when they need it there by saving a large amount of money in the long run. Many people explain the reduced costs as a huge benefit when it comes to deciding whether they will use cloud computing.
Cloud computing is also very easy to implement for use and is a benefit among companies who would prefer not to have to worry about seeking or obtaining hardware, software licenses, or other things they will need for the services they provide. This can also help reduce the workload of employing people to deal with the setup involved with hardware and installing software.
Internal resources of companies are freed up by using cloud computing to answer their needs as it allows their IT departments to potentially focus on critical tasks rather then worrying about fixing a hardware or software related issue. The provider of their cloud computing will fix problems that arise instead. One of the last benefits to be talked about is the easy flexibility that cloud computer allows.
Past computer methods only allowed certain tasks to be done and with cloud computing it allows more flexible capabilities for certain tasks to be accomplished required by companies or clients.
The invention and use of cloud computing will continue and as it grows and more companies employ cloud computing for their needs they will likely be impressed by tasks they can now accomplish that they couldn’t before without it. The benefits of cloud computing are vast and far exceed it’s risks. I believe cloud computing will become the standard for use in companies worldwide in the coming years and will continue it’s growth at an alarming rate.