These days, life can sometimes come at you at a very fast pace.
So much so, one finds it very difficult to keep up the many changes and improvements that science and technology provides us with on a daily basis.
In addition, there are also a fair number of terms that are introduced into our lives along with these improvements.
What’s more, the meanings of these terms are not always very clear to us, and we need to take the time to carry out some research in order to really understand what they mean – one such term is ‘cloud computing’.
As English language readers, we can easily understand the meanings of the words ‘cloud’ and ‘computing’ separately, however, when put together, the meaning is not very clear.
Therefore, let us take the time in this article to explain the meaning of the term ‘cloud computing’.
What is cloud computing in simple terms?
In simple terms, cloud computing can be described as the modern-day practice of carrying out computing from remote servers via the World Wide Web.
These servers or ‘large hard disks’ are located remotely or ‘in the cloud’, and can be accessed through the Internet in order to process, store and manage data.
Therefore, in the case of cloud computing the user does not store, manage or process data on his local computer, but instead does so in the cloud.
Also, this method of computing lets users access analytics, software, databases and much more from the cloud, through the Internet.
What is cloud computing definition?
The other day, a friend of mine sent me a WhatsApp message out of the blue.
Now, he was due to appear for an interview in a few hours, and he needed to know the answer to a particular question that he expected to face during the interview.
That question was “What is cloud computing definition?”.
I quickly gave him the answer to the question. It was this experience that prompted me to write this article.
Now, here’s my chance to answer the question “What is cloud computing definition?” for all our kind readers here.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, 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 minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”
Cloud computing example
Now, I can hear you ask, “What is cloud computing with example?”.
Well, let me give you an everyday example. Say for instance you are working on a document or excel sheet that needs approvals and inputs from different persons, who work in different locations across the world (and are in different time zones).
Given this situation, one of these persons can create a new document or excel sheet on a cloud platform like Google Drive, and can then provide all concerned persons access to the document.
This will allow all parties to access the document and make changes from wherever they are in real time.
Therefore, irrespective of time zone or location, there is no hurdle to the completion of the document – this was made possible by cloud computing.
Cloud computing advantages
- Lower costs: As a company chooses to use cloud servers over having their own hardware and in-house servers, the significant costs involved in housing, maintaining and repairing the servers is reduced.
- Dependability: Most large cloud server service providers ensure reliable service that can be depended upon all year round. Therefore, companies need not unnecessarily bring technicians on board for this purpose.
- Increased business focus: With cloud servers taking on the responsibility of providing reliable servers for the business, the company need not worry about their management and deployment any more. Instead, they can focus on core business activities that can drive them towards success.
- Flexibility: With cloud computing powered by cloud servers, companies can be flexible about their needs – choosing to increase or decrease storage as the need demands. This will allow the company to allocate resources to core business activities more efficiently.
- Energy efficient: Cloud service providers provide services via shared infrastructure, and therefore this provides for energy efficiency and a lower carbon footprint for the company.
As you can see from what has been discussed above, cloud computing can indeed be a boon to enterprises and companies.
However, like most things, there are a couple of disadvantages of resorting to the cloud for your computing needs.
For one, if your project or work requires applications that need to be run on dedicated in-house servers, then cloud computing is definitely not the answer.
Similarly, if you project requires really high levels of security and secrecy, you may not want to run the risk of hosting your work on a server provided by a third party.
If these concerns prevent companies from resorting to cloud computing via cloud servers, they may want to take a look at hybrid clouds, which could solve some of these issues.
Hybrid servers therefore, as far as possible, seek to combine the advantages of dedicated servers, as well as cloud servers to boost your organisation’s productivity and efficiency.
Cloud computing success stories
The benefits that cloud computing provides has resulted in many companies readily adopting and taking advantage of this revolutionary new system.
One such company is P&G, which decided to move from a mainframe (which served as the company’s primary computing platform), onto a cloud computing platform.
This change was necessary, as the company adopted the SAP platform across the enterprise.
Therefore, after carrying out the preliminary assessments and changes, the company decided to go ahead with cloud computing, and this provided the company with many advantages. Some which were:
- The company was now able to take advantage of the many possibilities that a SAP platform provides.
- Now that the company had adopted cloud computing, it was able to cut down on costs significantly, up to 8 million a year!
- This switch enabled P&G to safely and securely store its legacy data, which the company would definitely need in the future for legal and compliance purposes.
Netflix also provides another great example of the benefits of moving towards cloud computing.
In the beginning, the company housed all of its movies, documentaries and TV shows on its in-house servers.
However, with the surge in the number of subscribers and the subsequent demands that placed on the system, the company needed to switch to a larger number of servers.
However, this wasn’t cost effective or beneficial to the company, as the number of subscribers for a given period wasn’t definite (the subscriber base could easily go up or down during a certain period of time).
Therefore, it did not make sense for the company to invest heavily on in-house servers. Given this situation, the company hit upon the idea of using cloud servers instead.
In this way, Netflix was able to get the flexibility in service without having to invest heavily every now and again.
Besides, the costs involved in purchasing and maintaining in-house servers and storage was drastically reduced.
In this way, the company was able to provide industry leading service to customers across the world, minus the huge capital cost this would involve in terms of the management and maintenance of in-house servers.
As a student or college- goer, or indeed a professional, cloud computing could offer you a significant and important career opportunity.
You can explore the many possibilities that cloud computing provides by looking up the many cloud computing pdfs and cloud computing ppts online before you decide whether a career in cloud computing is indeed the one for you.
On similar lines, there are some online and offline cloud computing tutorials that could provide a basic understanding if this wonderful world of data storage and processing.
After this, if you are still confident that this is the way to go, begin to look for cloud computing courses online and offline.
I hope this article has been successful in providing you with the cloud computing basics.
Cloud computing is definitely the direction in which the world is heading.
Now, with the advantages and possibilities this mode of computing offers, you can most definitely see why.