We all hear the word Cloud every now and then but I am sure many of us aren’t exactly very sure about Cloud and Cloud Computing. So first of all, it is important to understand, what is the cloud.
What is Cloud
Cloud is just a metaphor for internet, when we say cloud, we are just referring to internet only and simply the services we use using internet – through our web browsers. Now when I say Cloud Computing then there is no standard industry definition which talks about cloud computing, given the fact that this is in a nascent stage and only handful of companies are investing in cloud computing & virtualization which are often cited as the FUTURE TRENDS .
What is Cloud Computing
But, in simple words,” Cloud Computing is more than the few internet based services which we access through our web browsers, it is the fundamental shift from the traditional client/server or n-tier architecture and it primarily focuses on the effective utilization of the IT INFRASTRUCTURE “.
Most Cloud Service providers offer this service on the “pay as you go” model. By “pay as you go” model it means that you pay only for the services you use and the amount of the resources you use. You are billed for only those services & resources that you consumed. In short everything that is offered is actually a service which you use.
You must be thinking it’s just another computational model, so why should one have an interest in it? Well here is the answer for it! Let me brief you with the features of it and I am sure you will agree that it is next generation model.
Features are as follows:
- Scalable: These are highly scalable services than the traditional services that tend to reach a limit at a certain level but these are designed and managed to cater the needs of people around the world because these services are replicated at the data centres which have a very good geo-distribution.
- Automated Services management: Well, it simply means you don’t have to worry about the manpower, servers, software upgrades, hardware etc. all are managed by the cloud services offering company. I will elaborate this in a future post on Windows Azure.
- High availability: These have almost 99.9999% uptime services because they have thousands of data centres across the globe and they have hundreds of instances which are replicated on them, so even if one server fails other jumps in to serve the client.
- Multi-tenancy: One Cloud – many tenants, that is the way most Cloud service providers, effectively utilize underlying IT infrastructure. They have many clients whose services are running on the single data centre.
- Virtualization: It actually is the most important aspect of it . Cloud service providers have data centres where they run thousands of servers run virtually using a hypervisor which increases effective utilization of the resources of mere 40-45% to around 85%.
So what it actually does, is that it takes all the stress of managing your servers, databases, security patches, software upgrades, infrastructure etc. ( in the case of public cloud) from you.
These links will also interest you:
- Types of Cloud services & Microsoft Cloud
- Security issues with Cloud computing
- Microsoft’s View On Privacy in Cloud Computing
- Microsoft Privacy Principles in Cloud Computing
- Cloud Computing with Microsoft Windows Azure
- Difference between Cloud computing and Grid computing
- Free Ebook on Cloud Computing from Microsoft.