Upon hearing the term ‘cloud computing‘ from a software engineer a few months ago, I was curious to know more about what it was. Cloud computing is one of the many classifications of computing solutions in which a service or technology allows the user to access computing resources as per his demand or desire. These resources are made available to him regardless of whether they are real or virtual or if they are shared or dedicated.
It is not affected by how the data is accessed by the user – whether by establishing a direct internet connection over the internet, a Local Area Network, or a Wide Area Network. The ‘cloud’ is governed by a self-service user interface that allows the user acquisition of resources when he requires them and for as long as he wants. Cloud can also be defined as a concept towards an IT services’ approach that makes better utilization of the increasing influence of servers as well as virtualization technologies.
The importance of cloud computing technology can be explained by its unparalleled prospects to save costs of investment and infrastructure. It also allows businesses to save considerably in applications engineering and deployment. As a result, this will help businesses economize on allocation of resources.
Private and Public clouds
In layman terms, an external or public cloud is a virtual setting that is established outside the bounds of the firewall that a company uses. Most commonly, companies purchase this service from third-party vendors. It is a shared virtual infrastructure managed and operated over a self-service portal.
A private cloud, also known as an internal cloud, uses the same models that a public cloud uses for delivery. However, the primary disparity between a private cloud and a public cloud is that the former operates behind the firewall established by the organization. This ensures that it runs exclusively to benefit the organization and its customers. The self-service user interface of private clouds is inherited from public clouds but the collection of resources on IT infrastructure is made an internal matter.
Dissimilarities with SaaS, IaaS and PaaS
An increasing number of users in the business industry believe software applications that are delivered over the internet to be a sub-categorization or evolution of cloud computing. This may actually be true as they have some very striking similarities that are difficult to miss.
However, as the belief is not based on any theoretical premise, no conclusion can be made. The same can be said for IaaS and PaaS, the first of which allows a user remote access to storage mediums and servers while the second allows software developers and engineers to construct website applications and deploy them on a hosted infrastructure.
Cloud computing is bang on target in terms of applications that have to do with Information Technology management, software development and software deployment. It also has a lot of potential for softwares running businesses and monitoring productivity. A software that assists cloud users by being readily available to them as resident applications on their desktop are better off as being local. For public clouds, businesses should take care not to publish sensitive information on customers for public view.