What Is the Cloud?

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The Cloud Explained
Greg May
Professor Stephen Savage
IT222 February 17, 2013

The Cloud Explained
The cloud is coming and it is coming fast. With technology everything is evolving and the cloud computing is the next evolution. Cloud computing will change the way companies do business and job descriptions of IT professionals everywhere.

When the average person thinks of the cloud they probably think about services like Dropbox, Google Docs, iCLoud, etc. Although these are based in the cloud, the cloud is so much more than just a storage service. Most do not even realize it, but even Netflix is cloud based. The definition of the cloud according to Cloud Computing Bible “Cloud computing takes the technology, services, and applications that are similar to those on the Internet and turns them into a self-service utility,” Sosinsky, 2011. The cloud is made up of 2 essential parts: Abstraction and Virtualization. “Abstraction: Cloud computing abstracts the details of system implementation from users and developers. Applications run on physical systems that are not specified, data is stored in locations that are unknown, administration of systems is outsourced to others, and access by users is ubiquitous. Virtualization: Cloud computing virtualizes systems by pooling and sharing resources. Systems and storage can be provisioned as needed from a centralized infrastructure, costs are assessed on a metered basis, multi-tenancy is enabled, and resources are scalable with agility.” (Sosinsky, 2011) Amazon may be known by most for their online shopping, Amazon is also a big player in cloud computing. The most common service that is on the Amazon cloud is Netflix, among others that are commonly used are Pinterest, NASA, and Samsung. Amazon is currently host to 10% of the top 10,000 websites. Amazon recently had an outage on Christmas Eve that left Netlfix users without the ability to stream movies. The problem was traced back to load balancing. This is common amongst cloud computing, it is the process of moving workloads from one computer to another. (Garling, 2013) There are many types of clouds that exist today: Private, Public, Hybrid, and Community. Private cloud is more of a corporate cloud that is only accessible to a number of people behind a firewall. Private clouds offer better security, because they are controlled by the company and only accessed by those that are given access. The downside of a private cloud is the fact they still have limited resources. (Rouse, 2011) Private clouds are great for companies that want to be in complete control of their information and where it goes. The problem with a private cloud is that the company still has to provide its own infrastructure to run the cloud on. Where public clouds offer infinite scalability, private clouds can only be as big as the company builds its infrastructure. Public clouds are the most common and probably the most popular type of cloud service. A public cloud is offered by a third party company and gives access to storage, applications, and is generally accessible by the general public as free or a pay-per-use. Examples of public clouds would be Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Google AppEngin, IBM’s Blue Cloud, Sun Cloud, and Windows Azure Services Platform. (Rouse, 2009) A lot of companies are choosing to go with private clouds first to get to learn the cloud environment. Companies like to be in complete control of their data and how it store and processed. This is not necessarily the best way to approach incorporating the cloud into an existing company. A company should first consider what they are wanting to place in the cloud and what apps they want to run in the cloud. After evaluating all of these factors it would then be safe to choose which cloud service would best fit their needs. (Schultz, 2011) Hybrid offers the best of having a private cloud and a public cloud. Hybrid clouds consist of at least one private cloud and one public cloud. A...
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