Cloud computing has become the latest buzz word and must have technology and not without reason. Cloud computing is the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources as a service over the Internet on a utility basis. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the "cloud" that supports them. Cloud computing services often provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.
10 reasons to move your data and IT operations to the cloud
Software Wish List
Cloud computing is internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like the electricity grid.
Gartner defines cloud computing as a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies (*Source: Gartner, May 2009 -G00167182).
Cloud computing represents a paradigm shift akin to the shift from mainframe to client-server technology that preceded it in the early 1980s. Users no longer have need of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them. Cloud computing describes a new consumption and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources as a service over the Internet. It is a by-product and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.
Most cloud computing infrastructure consists of reliable services delivered through data centres and built on servers. Clouds often appear as single points of access for all consumers' computing needs. Commercial offerings are generally expected to meet quality of service (QoS) requirements of customers and typically offer SLAs. Cloud computing providers share their environments with multiple tenants which improves the utilisation rate and reduces cost through scale. These savings can be passed on to the users. The environments also are easily scalable for the user/client therefore increases in requirements can be quickly met, as can reductions.
Software as a Service (SaaS) This is either specific applications such as Microsoft Online Services or Google Apps or vanilla applications such as email, office suites, etc. SaaS is typically a replacement for traditional on-premise software but delivered as a service from the cloud on a per user basis.
Software as a Secure Service (SaaS) This is typically software that is highly focused on security.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Typically this represents utility computing such as server, backup, storage and networking equipment.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) This is currently an entire infrastructure or solution stack that comprises infrastructure and software. In some cases, this is an operating system in the cloud that can be developed upon with specific software solutions and infrastructure. The most well-known version is Microsoft's Windows Azure, which is essentially a cloud offering based on Windows Server and .NET development that provides a platform for companies to build and provide cloud applications.
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