When we store our photos online instead of on our home computer, or use webmail or a social networking site, we are using a “cloud computing” service. If we are an organization, and we want to use, for example, an online invoicing service instead of updating the in-house one we have been using for many years, that online invoicing service is a “cloud computing” service. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources over the Internet. Instead of keeping data on our own hard drive or updating applications for our needs, we use a service over the Internet, at another location, to store our information or use its applications.
Cloud computing applications are the delivery of computing services over the Internet. Cloud services allow individuals and businesses to use software and hardware that are managed by third parties at remote locations. Examples of cloud services include online file storage, social networking sites, webmail, and online business applications. The cloud computing model allows access to information and computer resources from anywhere that a network connection is available. Cloud computing provides a shared pool of resources, including data storage space, networks, computer processing power, and specialized corporate and user applications. The characteristics of cloud computing include on-demand self service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service. On-demand self service means that customers (usually organizations) can request and manage their own computing resources. Broad network access allows services to be offered over the Internet or private networks. Pooled resources means that customers draw from a pool of computing resources, usually in remote data centres. Services can be scaled larger or smaller and use of a service is measured and customers are billed accordingly.
Cloud computing services provide us with our own hard drive in the cloud or on the internet. Such services have become popular because they are affordable, convenient and provide ample storage space. But perhaps the biggest appeal of such services is their accessibility; we can access our documents, photos, videos and any other saved files from any device with internet access. With cloud services we can connect at home, work or on the go via a laptop, desktop, Smartphone or other handheld device. Some of the world’s largest tech companies have launched cloud services, including Apple, Amazon and Google. These tech giants, along with some notable up-and-comers, provide several storage tier plans tailored for both consumers and businesses. It should be noted that Microsoft Windows also offers cloud solutions. But unlike its competitors, Windows provides such a small, limited amount of free storage (with no option to upgrade) that it’s difficult to compete with the rest of the services in our lineup.
Cloud Computing application and services