what is cloud computing

Cloud computing services are evolving like anything. Companies of all sizes are adapting to the cloud computing technology. Cloud technology could either be private or public. There are 3 models that are fundamentally used in cloud computing
1. Platform as a service 
2. Infrastructure as a service  
3. software as a service 

There is 99% chance that you as an individual have already used
cloud computing. If you have an web based mail account hosted by gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc or if you have a facebook account, picasa account then you have already experienced cloud computing. Instead of storing the mails on your computer you store them some where else, you use a browser to connect to the Internet and access the mails.The software and storage for your account doesn't exist on your computer. It is with the cloud computing
service provider company. You as an user simply access the services in cloud with your computer and an interface software which could be a simple browser. But, in the back end there are various computers, servers and data storing systems that create the whole cloud computing system.

Moving to cloud means storing your data files on a remotely located servers, using web based application online not installed on your personal computer. The only thing you will need to access the services of cloud computing is the software Interface that connects you with  cloud computing services this could be a simple browser, rest of the things are taken care of by service providers network. 
With advancement in the cloud technology the applications of cloud computing are turning to be practically limitless. Cloud computing can execute all the programs you could run on your personal normal computer. Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, because they do not need to be installed on user's computer and can be accessed from any location.

Any cloud computing company generally has quite a large number of clients, thus they need to have a large amount of digital space to store all the client data. They have to also make sure they create duplicate copies of the data as a back up in case of any break down. Cloud computing service providers offer their services according to below 3 fundamental models:

1. Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
This is a raw model which includes offering storage and computing resources which can be used by software developers for building business solutions. IT organisations can deliver solutions for their clients using IAAS model. Cloud users can install their operating system and their applications on the cloud infrastructure.
Example of the companies that provide IAAS are amazon EC2, google compute engine, hp cloud

2. Platform As A Service (PaaS)
This model gives a computing platform on top of which you can build a application as desired. The platform can include operating system, programming language execution service, database and server. Service provider could offer a developer tool which can be used to build services or database services or data storage services on the provided platform. Developers can build an application on this platform without bothering about the underlying hardware and software layers.
Example of PAAS service providers are force.com, heroku, azure cloud services, google app engine.

3. Software As A Service (SaaS)
In this type of model the service provider gives a specific built
application and supporting database. We can say that the application or the software is hosted by provider and you dont have to install anything from your side. You have to just connect using internet to use the application service. An example of application service is CRM or ERP. SAAS delivers single application through the browser to number of customers using a multitenant architecture environment. Salesforce.com is a Best known example of SAAS, that provides CRM application built on force.com. Other examples of SAAS are google apps, microsoft office 365.

Advantages of cloud computing
1. As an user you dont store anything on your computer, so you are not bothered about installing anything or perhaps maintain anything personally.
2. Low cost. Maintenance cost, installation cost are reduced.
3. Easy access, you can access the services (applications and data) easily using software    interface like browser. You only need to be connected to the Internet.
4. Access data from anywhere irrespective of your location as long as you have a computer    and an Internet connection
5. Brings the hardware costs down
6. Clients can access their data from anywhere at any time.
7. Reduces the need for advanced hardware on the client side
8. Data storage requires physical space, with cloud computing you are not bothered about    physical space and its security. Cloud computing service provider takes care of this.
9. Data recovery and backup.
10. Streamlines the business processes.
11. Globalisation, employees can access same services irrespective of their location

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
1. Security could be one concern as the data resides with the service providers.
2. Privacy of data is other concern.

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