Cloud Computing Imparts Success

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Published: 08th June 2012
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Many people get highly confused as to exactly what the term cloud computing means, especially as many meaning have been assigned to this term by various writers and IT experts. The concept of cloud computing deals with the provisioning of highly scalable computing resources by an external cloud services provider via the means of the Internet on a pay as you go basis. The term cloud in most simple sense can be perceived as a metaphor for the Internet. The term cloud is based on the symbol used to represent the Internet or the WWW (also known as the World Wide Web) in computer network diagrams.

From an economical perspective, the main attraction of cloud computing is based on the fact that the users only use what they need, and hence, only pay for what they actually use. Any number of resources is available to be accessed from the cloud from any location and at any moment of time via the Internet. There is no need to worry about how the complex systems are being maintained behind the curtain, a user have to simply purchase the information technology or IT service that he or she requires as he or she would purchase any other utility. As of this, cloud computing has also been very aptly called “information technology on demand” or “utility computing”. This advanced and latest Internet based generation of computing utilizes remote cloud servers placed in the world class and highly secure data center facilities. Data center facilities used by an application hosting service provider that utilizes cloud hosting technology are SSAE No. 16 (also known as the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16) compliant. The data center facilities used by a cloud hosting service provider are also SAS no. 70 (also known as Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70) Type II compliant. By making use of the world class and highly secure data center facilities of a cloud computing service provider for storage and management of data, an organization no longer requires to purchase and look after their IT or information technology solutions on its own premises.

Cloud Computing consist of three sections, viz. – First section is cloud application. This section is the apex of the cloud pyramid. In this section, applications (QuickBooks, MS SQL Server, Windows Server, etc.) are run and interacted through a Web browser program such as Internet explorer, hosted desktop or remote client. The prominent feature of commercial cloud computing applications is that users never need to purchase expensive infrastructure, etc themselves, but the cost is incorporated into the subscription fee. A cloud service provider eliminates the need to install and run the application or software on the customer's own desktop or laptop, thus removing the burden of application maintenance, operation, and support.

Second section is cloud platform. This section is the middle layer of the cloud pyramid. This section provides a computing framework or platform as a service. Such a platform dynamically provisions, configures, re - configures and de - provisions cloud servers as required to cope with increases or decreases in demand. This in its real sense is a distributed computing model, in which many services pull together to deliver an infrastructure or application request. Third section is cloud infrastructure. The foundation or base of the cloud pyramid is the delivery of the information technology infrastructure by means of virtualization. Virtualization technology allows the splitting of a single physical piece of hardware into independent and self governed environments, which can be independently scaled in the terms of central processing unit (or CPU), random access memory (or RAM), disk, and other parts. The infrastructure section of cloud hosting technology includes cloud servers, networks, and other hardware equipments delivered as Infrastructure cloud centers, or Web Services, or farms. These are then interlinked with others for additional capacity and resilience.

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