What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing provides us a means by which we can access the applications as utilities, over the Internet. It allows us to create, configure, and customize applications online.

What is Cloud?
The term Cloud refers to a Network or Internet. In other words, we can say that Cloud is something, which is present at remote location. Cloud can provide services over network, i.e., on public networks or on private networks, i.e., WAN, LAN or VPN.

Applications such as e-mail, web conferencing, customer relationship management (CRM), all run in cloud.

What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing means on demand delivery of IT resources via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. It provides a solution of IT infrastructure in low cost. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.

Why Cloud Computing?
Actually, Small as well as some large IT companies follows the traditional methods to provide the IT infrastructure. That means for any IT company, we need a Server Room that is the basic need of IT companies.

In that server room, there should be a database server, mail server, networking, firewalls, routers, modem, switches, QPS (Query Per Second means how much queries or load will be handled by the server) , configurable system, high net speed and the maintenance engineers.

To establish such IT infrastructure, we need to spend lots of money. To overcome all these problems and to reduce the IT infrastructure cost, Cloud Computing comes into existence.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing
The characteristics of cloud computing are given below:
1) Agility
The cloud works in the distributed computing environment. It shares resources among users and works very fast.

2) High availability and reliability
Availability of servers is high and more reliable, because chances of infrastructure failure are minimal.

3) High Scalability
Means "on-demand" provisioning of resources on a large scale, without having engineers for peak loads.

4) Multi-Sharing
With the help of cloud computing, multiple users and applications can work more efficiently with cost reductions by sharing common infrastructure.

5) Device and Location Independence
Cloud computing enables the users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they use e.g. PC, mobile phone etc. As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet, users can connect from anywhere.

6) Maintenance
Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, since they do not need to be installed on each user's computer and can be accessed from different places. So, it reduces the cost also.

7) Low Cost
By using cloud computing, the cost will be reduced because to take the services of cloud computing, IT company need not to set its own infrastructure and pay-as-per usage of resources.

8) Services in pay-per-use mode
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are provided to the users so that they can access services on the cloud by using these APIs and pay the charges as per the usage of services.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing#Characteristics 
2. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372163,00.asp

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