Overview of Cloud Computing
By James Powell
Cloud Computing, a computing paradigm is one of the easiest means of accessing and storing
data over the Internet, instead of storing data in the computer hard drive. It is also recognized
as a large pool of systems that helps us to remain connected with private or public networks
and to provide dynamically scalable infrastructure for data, file storage and application.
With the launch of this technology, it significantly abridged the storage of content,
delivery, cost of computation, and application hosting. It has a potential of transforming
a data center from a capital-intensive set up to a variable priced milieu.
According to one of the research industries - Forrester, defines Cloud Computing as a
pool of abstracted, highly scalable, and managed compute infrastructure capable of hosting
end customer applications and billed by consumption.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the
definition of Cloud Computing as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network
access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers,
storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with
a minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
The characteristic of Cloud Computing consists of self-service, where a customer can
request and manage their own computing resources. An access to the broad network permits service
to be available for the private networks or the Internet. This technology provides a pool of
shared resources, where the customer draws from a pool of computing resources, usually in a
remote data centre.
Cloud Computing Service Models
The services of Cloud Computing are clustered in three categories - Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
In this service model, the cloud based applications are offered to the customer, as a
service on demand. It is a single instance of the service that runs on distant computers "in
the cloud" which are owned and operated by others and gets connected to users' computers via
the Internet and, usually, a web browser. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr
and Google are all examples of SaaS, though users able to access the services via any Internet
The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model is a level above the Software-as-a-Service setup
and provides hardware, network and operating system, so that a customer can design its own
application and software.
In order to meet the requirements of the applications such as scalability and manageability,
a predefined combination of Operating System OS and application servers is offered by PaaS
providers such as restricted J2EE, LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP), etc., for
example, at every stage of the process to develop, test and ultimately host their websites,
web developers can use individual PaaS environments.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a basic computing and storage capability, which
is provided by a standardized service over the network. This model has made the workload easier
by pooling data centre space, storage systems, networking equipment, servers, etc. together
and making them available. In addition to it, the customer can develop and install its own
operating systems, software and applications.
Cloud Computing Deployment Models
To make available and to deploy applications, enterprises can choose Cloud Computing
on Public, Private or Hybrid clouds. In order to determine the right cloud path for each organization,
Cloud Integrators play a vital role.
By and large, services provided by a public cloud are offered over the Internet and are
operated and owned by companies, which use it to offer swift access to reasonable computing
resources to other organizations or individuals. Through this deployment model, consumers don't
need to purchase supporting infrastructure, hardware or software, which is owned and managed
In this deployment model, the infrastructure of the cloud is solely operated for a specific
organization and is managed by the organization or a third party. While providing more control
of resources and steering clear of multi-tenancy, private clouds exist to take advantage of
the various cloud's efficiencies.
This deployment model of Cloud Computing coalesces both public and private cloud models.
A service provider can utilize third party Cloud Providers in a full or partial manner amid
hybrid clouds, and thus escalating the flexibility of computing.
Hence, for the everyday computer user, this technology provides numerous options as well
as to large and small businesses. And for organizations and individuals, Cloud Computing offers
benefits, and the action moves to the interface flanked by multiple groups of service consumers
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