What Is Cloud Computing?

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What is Cloud Computing?
INF 103 Computer Literacy
December 3, 2012

What is Cloud Computing?
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 3
2. Body
a. Basic Concept3
b. Uses of Cloud Technology3
c. Service Models4
d. Deployment Models5
e. Performance, Productivity, Security and Cost6
f. A Web Based Operating System?7
3. Conclusion8
4. References9

What is Cloud Computing?
Introduction
If you are unclear on the meaning of cloud computing, you may be surprised to know its every day, personal uses. If you are a large business or corporation owner, you are learning about it with lightning speed. In this paper I will define the concept and describe the technology behind cloud computing, explaining its service and deployment models for the common man as well as the big-businessman; cost vs. security is a hot topic I will discuss in addition to cloud computing’s potential to change the digital and economic landscape of our future. I think of cloud computing this way: It is simply a name given to what I already do.

Body
Technology is at the heart of how every business operates. There is debate about what cloud computing is and where it is headed, but no question that it is a real technology (Hurwitz, Bloor, Kaufman & Halper, 2009); this paper will reflect my personal understandings. The basic concept of cloud computing is this: storage of data in an unknown location, on an unknown server, for easy access from any device with an internet connection. You may think: “So what? Who cares?” Well, I cared very much when my beloved laptop died as I composed a final paper. Luckily my geek friend had insisted I use Dropbox to save all my assignments. Dropbox is an application I downloaded which, when I select it, stores my data, allowing access to my paper from my iPhone and a friend’s computer. Cloud services have several key elements that allow their super-duper processing powered web-based systems, with broad network access, to be used as if they were operating on your own device. People and companies share these self-service systems as space is used and reused and demand comes and goes. Computing services are measured to ensure a rapid and elastic ability to up or down-size your needs and costs (Williams, 2010).

Google, specifically Gmail, is the most well-known user of cloud technology; all its applications’ software are stored on nearly a million inexpensive servers. Once you use the internet to access anything Google (web, Docs, Books, cloud print, mail, etc.) you are using their servers to access and manipulate data, yours and theirs, that is not stored on your computer. This information is located on multiple servers, in case of an outage. Google employs teams of engineers and technicians to maintain their software so it is bug-free and always up to date (Bowles, 2010). You can thank cloud computing for the magic of online banking. When you click to pay a bill or make a transfer, you are manipulating data that resides outside your device. Notice how instantaneously it happens; this is because the hardware, operating system, and software needed to complete that transaction are not taking up space on your busy computer, nor do you have to update and service them (Williams, 2010). Additional cloud services like social media and collaboration tools are a few more ways we all benefit from the web-based cloud. As individuals, we are able to use these cloud services for free, because we normally use little space. When the need arrives, we can purchase more; this is called: “Software as a Service:” SaaS. It is the first, and most widely used of three service models, all of which operate as self-service pay-per-use or on-demand services. As Mark Williams (2010) further describes, SaaS applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated and collaborative as entire business applications can be...
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