472,985 Members | 2,609 Online
Bytes | Software Development & Data Engineering Community
Post Job

Home Posts Topics Members FAQ

Join Bytes and contribute your articles to a community of 472,985 developers and data experts.

What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

While this is a common question it is not easy to answer. The quick answer is that cloud computing is computing, in the cloud. But this gives us the question - what is the cloud? Is it just a new name from client server or N-Tier architecture? The complete answer is more complex.

In fact, there are several definitions for cloud computing. Technical authorities differ on the definitions and the vendors of Cloud Computing platforms do not even agree. Some analysts claim that Cloud Computing has been with us for years and it is simply the modern version of Utility Computing (with a new buzzword). Others claim the definition is much broader, including anything used outside of your local firewall. The goal of this article to explain what Cloud Computing really means.

Utility Computing, a term that has been around for decades, refers to a business model focusing on providing computing services for a fee based on usage. This concept is comparable to the business models used by public utilities. For example, the water service (a public utility) provides a continuous service with the cost based on the amount of water used. This public utility business model is analogous to the Utility Computing business model, in which computing services are always made available and the customer’s bill is based on usage of the services. Utility Computing itself is not a new concept. As early as 1955 John McCarthy, an MIT professor, compared it with a public utility company in the following quote:

“If computers of the kind I have advocated become the computers of the future, then computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility… The computer utility could become the basis of a new and important industry.”

Utility Computing provides an economic model that may be superior to an on-site data center. Academic studies show that servers in corporate data centers are underutilized (average idle time of approximately 85%). The reason for this underutilization is that the servers must be able to handle periodic spikes in demand and possible load increases in the future. With Utility Computing, a company does not pay for this idle time in which the server is not being used. Instead, the company will pay for only the computing resources it needs – when these resources are needed.

Although Utility Computing is a type of Cloud Computing, the term Cloud Computing is much broader. The cloud concept describes the architecture on which Utility Computing is based. Cloud Computing can also describe categories of computing that do not meet the definition of Utility Computing.

The term Cloud Computing can refer to any off-site computing environment. This could simply be access to a server on which customers can install their applications and services, to advanced environments that provide email servers and applications servers so that the customer can build custom applications. The highpoint of Cloud Computing is software running in the cloud and made available over the Internet on a subscription basis.

Most robust Cloud Computing environments use virtualization technology which allows multiple resources to appear as a single resource. This technology causes the cloud to be elastic, meaning it can expand and contract based on system load and performance requirements. This elastic nature allows for a pay-as-you-go billing model that is based on usage.

This article as given a very broad definition of cloud computing. In practice, computing in the cloud comes in various layers that provide different levels of service. In some cases, the type of cloud being used is actually a perception of the user of the cloud. A developer may build applications using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud and make those applications available to an end user. From the end users perspective, the cloud is a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud.

Cloud Computing is a new twist on and old concept – Utility Computing. There are a plethora of cloud options that serve a variety of needs. In addition, the economic model of computing in the cloud differs from traditional computing in some drastic ways.
Dec 8 '11 #1
0 3104

Sign in to post your reply or Sign up for a free account.

Similar topics

by: lkrubner | last post by:
I apologize for being a bit dense, but I'm trying to wrap my head around the sentence "Its purpose is to allow processes to register with a cloud to be notified of updates to the channel,...
by: mclaugb | last post by:
Has anyone recompiled the Scientific Computing package using NumPy instead of Numeric? I need a least squares algorithm and a Newton Rhaphson algorithm which is contained in Numeric but all the...
by: yawnmoth | last post by:
According to <http://www.rssboard.org/rss- specification#ltcloudgtSubelementOfLtchannelgt>, " specifies a web service that supports the rssCloud interface which can be implemented in HTTP-POST,...
by: Aaron Watters | last post by:
So, in between skiing runs I noticed a Business Week cover story on "cloud computing". The article had lots of interesting information in it like about how somebody's mom used to be an airline...
by: Bill Fuller | last post by:
Is anyone familier with Amazon's Elastic compute cloud for hosting applications? It appears to be UNIX based. I am wondering if anyone is familier with something similar for utility computing for...
by: knorth | last post by:
The DataServices World conference offers a program for those interested in technology for data integration and data access, with emphasis on service-oriented architecture (SOA), web-oriented...
by: lizawelch | last post by:
Is Application hosting same as cloud hosting and cloud computing?
by: DJRhino | last post by:
Was curious if anyone else was having this same issue or not.... I was just Up/Down graded to windows 11 and now my access combo boxes are not acting right. With win 10 I could start typing...
by: Aliciasmith | last post by:
In an age dominated by smartphones, having a mobile app for your business is no longer an option; it's a necessity. Whether you're a startup or an established enterprise, finding the right mobile app...
by: tracyyun | last post by:
Hello everyone, I have a question and would like some advice on network connectivity. I have one computer connected to my router via WiFi, but I have two other computers that I want to be able to...
by: giovanniandrean | last post by:
The energy model is structured as follows and uses excel sheets to give input data: 1-Utility.py contains all the functions needed to calculate the variables and other minor things (mentions...
by: Teri B | last post by:
Hi, I have created a sub-form Roles. In my course form the user selects the roles assigned to the course. 0ne-to-many. One course many roles. Then I created a report based on the Course form and...
by: isladogs | last post by:
The next Access Europe meeting will be on Wednesday 1 Nov 2023 starting at 18:00 UK time (6PM UTC) and finishing at about 19:15 (7.15PM) Please note that the UK and Europe revert to winter time on...
by: nia12 | last post by:
Hi there, I am very new to Access so apologies if any of this is obvious/not clear. I am creating a data collection tool for health care employees to complete. It consists of a number of...
by: NeoPa | last post by:
Introduction For this article I'll be focusing on the Report (clsReport) class. This simply handles making the calling Form invisible until all of the Reports opened by it have been closed, when it...
by: GKJR | last post by:
Does anyone have a recommendation to build a standalone application to replace an Access database? I have my bookkeeping software I developed in Access that I would like to make available to other...

By using Bytes.com and it's services, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

To disable or enable advertisements and analytics tracking please visit the manage ads & tracking page.