A Sneak Peek At Cloud Computing
Today is the computer age, where virtually almost any processes become possible in just a few clicks. Almost everything- shopping, doing business, acquiring information and more is done online. Because of this, businesses could be expanded to a worldwide audience without having to be there physically. Doing all these things has also become easier because of the network access and usage of computer technology.
One of the things that one should know about computers and networking is the cloud computing. Read on to know some more about the concept, characteristics, categories, issues and more of this new networking and data access trend.
Cloud Computing and Its Concept
Cloud computing is a concept that enables network access in a convenient and universal manner. Such access is available on any of shared resources such as servers, services, networks, and applications. The term is inspired by how the Internet is represented- by cloud symbols, diagrams and flowcharts.
The cloud computing concept answers the very need of quickly increasing or adding capacities and capabilities without having to invest in new software, infrastructure and people. Cloud computing therefore, is so far the most advantageous technique in boosting up what IT can do.
How Cloud Computing Works
Cloud computing enables storage, data access, software configuration, computation, etc. without having to know the configuration and the physical location of the system which provides these services. This new trend makes it easier for clients and service provider to get connected. There shall be no need to go to the physical location of a certain company just to get things fixed, or tweaked- the Internet takes care of it. Cloud computing enables access to tweaking applications through browsers as one would access a certain website for personal use, while the actual software, all the data and the infrastructure are actually located on a place from afar. Depending on the type or category the client is subscribed to, the client can have full or limited access in making changes in any of the applications that is needed to get their online businesses running.
Cloud Computing and Its Categories
Cloud computing is categorized into three, according to its usage and capabilities: PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service, IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-Service and SaaS or Software-as-a-Service. Let’s get to know these categories one by one:
-IaaS: One good example is the Amazon Web Services. IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a service used to control the access and enable configuration in the storage, as well as in the virtual servers. This is also a good choice among enterprises, as they only pay for the needed capacity. Another term known for this category is the utility computing, as this resembles paying for the use of utilities such as water, electricity and others.
-PaaS: This category refers to the tools for product development, platforms and other software which are hosted on the infrastructure of the service provider. The clients get to access these assorted tools via the World Wide Web to create and modify applications for all the needs of their site. Google Apps is one good example of a PaaS. This category works by providing a gateway, a portal, a single or several APIs which is installed on the computer of the client. One of the downsides of this type though, is having limited activities (i.e. some service providers may not allow their clients to move some client-generated software or applications to their platform)
-SaaS: This category provides maximum freedom to its client, as providers host both the hardware and the software. If the client is on-the-go, this is the best choice, as gaining access to make use of this service does not require anyone to be stuck in one place. As long as the client is able to access through a certain portal, he or she can be able to modify anything on the site, and make new applications anytime and anywhere. SaaS means portability for its clients.
Similarities To Other Data Access Services
Cloud computing is somewhat similar to the concepts of: Peer-to-Peer (enabling the distribution of data without having to acquire central coordination), and Grid computing (a form of computing where very large tasks are divided and worked on by several computers on a shared access).
Key Characteristics of Cloud Computing
There are characteristics which are unique in cloud computing. Here are a few:
-Cloud computing is cost-efficient. By taking advantage of this service, clients get to pay only for what they use. It also requires fewer technicalities on the part of the client, as major tweaks shall be provided by the hosting company.
-Cloud computing is portable. With a web browser, and a device accessible to the Internet, doing tweaks on applications and many others is possible regardless of the device that one is using, and regardless of the one’s current location. With cloud computing, there is no need to be in the office just to get things done. Also, if one has a mobile device which can connect to the Internet, it would not be necessary to be on the computer for the entire day. For the clients, especially to those who are on the go, can take advantage of cloud computing.
-Cloud computing is fast. Data access, editing and more become possible with a few clicks.
-Cloud computing allows easy maintenance. No need to have them installed on each computers. As mentioned previously. All it takes is a web browser and Internet access.
-Cloud computing has API, or Application Programming Interface. It enables interaction to cloud software's as humans to computers would.
There are just a few areas that should be improved for this service to totally become useable to all. Some still question the security and reliability of cloud computing; loss of control over some data is likely to occur. Cloud computing shall be made more secure and reliable. However, due to the fast-paced improvement of computer and networking, this should be dealt with soon. In just a short wait, cloud computing shall become very favorable to most people who need data access and/or networking services.