Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network. At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.
The cloud also focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of the shared resources. Cloud resources are usually not only shared by multiple users but are also dynamically re-allocated per demand. This can work for allocating resources to users. For example, a cloud computer facility, which serves European users during European business hours with a specific application (e.g. email) while the same resources are getting reallocated and serve North American users during North America's business hours with another application (e.g. web server). This approach should maximize the use of computing powers thus reducing environmental damage as well since less power, air conditioning, rackspace, etc. is required for a variety of functions.
The term "moving to cloud" also refers to an organization moving away from a traditional CAPEX model (buy the dedicated hardware and depreciate it over a period of time) to the OPEX model (use a shared cloud infrastructure and pay as you use it).
Proponents claim that cloud computing allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs, and focus on projects that differentiate their businesses instead of infrastructure. Proponents also claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand. Hosted services
In marketing, cloud computing is mostly used to sell hosted services in the sense of application service provisioning that run client server software at a remote location. Such services are given popular acronyms like 'SaaS' (Software as a Service), 'PaaS' (Platform as a Service), 'IaaS' (Infrastructure as a Service), 'HaaS' (Hardware as a Service) and finally 'EaaS' (Everything as a Service). End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser, thin client or mobile app while the business software and user's data are stored on servers at a remote location. History
The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1950s, when large-scale mainframe computers became available in academia and corporations, accessible via thin clients/terminal computers, often referred to as "dumb terminals", because they were used for communications but had no internal processing capacities. To make more efficient use of costly mainframes, a practice evolved that allowed multiple users to share both the physical access to the computer from multiple terminals as well as to share the CPU time. This eliminated periods of inactivity on the mainframe and allowed for a greater return on the investment. The practice of sharing CPU time on a mainframe became known in the industry as time-sharing. The 1960s–1990s
John McCarthy opined in the 1960s that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility." Almost all the modern-day characteristics of cloud computing (elastic provision, provided as a utility, online, illusion of infinite supply), the comparison to the electricity industry and the use of public, private, government, and community forms, were thoroughly explored in Douglas Parkhill's 1966 book, The Challenge of the Computer Utility. Other scholars have shown that cloud computing's roots go all the way back to the 1950s when scientist Herb Grosch (the author of Grosch's law) postulated that the entire world would operate on dumb terminals powered by about 15 large data centers. Due to the expense of these powerful computers, many corporations and other entities could avail themselves of computing capability through time sharing and several organizations, such as GE's GEISCO,...
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