What Is Cloud Computing
What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all questions you've probably heard or even asked yourself. The term "cloud computing" is everywhere. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.
Of all the technologies to radically alter the landscape of how we utilize IT Technology for business today—Big Data, mobile, analytics, and others—Cloud Computing is arguably one of the most important revolution in technology since the launch of the world wide web almost 5 decades ago. Thank to cloud computing, anyone can now have access and utilize computational resource that is virtually unlimited. Only restricted by the user's imagination, and of course your IT budget.
While various Cloud Computing applications regularly receive headlines for predictive analytics, the Internet of Things, Cognitive Computing and more, it’s relatively easy to forget that the insight and action they deliver hinges on the highly scalable, ubiquitously accessible, elastic resource provisioning environment that only the Cloud Computing landscape can deliver.
To understand the workings of a cloud system, it is easier to divide it into two sections: the front end and the back end. They are connected to each other through a network, usually the Internet. The front end is the side of the computer user or client. The back end is ‘the cloud’ section of the system. The front end consists of the client’s computer or computer network. Also the applications essential to access the cloud computing system. It is not necessary that all cloud computing systems have the same user interface.
On the back end of the cloud technology system, there are various computers, servers and data storage systems that make up the cloud. A cloud computing system could potentially include any computer program, from data processing to video games. Generally, each application will have its own dedicated server. A central server manages the cloud system. It’s purpose is to manage traffic and client demands to ensure everything runs smoothly. It pursues a set of rules called protocols and uses a special kind of software known as middle ware. Middle ware permits networked computers to communicate with each other.
Essentially, the cloud consists of three distinctive layers: Infrastructure, platforms, applications. The Infrastructure of any cloud network is the most fundamental hosting layer that anything else is built on. It is also the most physical layer, including hardware such as servers, storage capacity and memory. The people running this layer are usually IT administrators. Build on the infrastructure is the Platform layer. Platforms are locations in the cloud where applications are built, identities managed, and files executed. Traditionally, software developers are the most common users of this layer. The most varied layer is where the Applications reside. This is already made clear with the examples of cloud services above. There is an endless list of possibilities here, including applications for content, collaboration, communication, finance, or the management of any of these.