Prof. Pamela Betts
24 January 2018
Cloud computing, also known as “the cloud” is the delivery of multiple computer services via the internet. Services such as networking, servers, databases, storage, and analytics are few that many companies offer through the cloud. Many confuse cloud computing as something entirely new but the term is simply a metaphor for the internet. The main difference between cloud and storing data on a hard drive is that with a local storage accessing data is simple and fast. “The cloud is also not about having a dedicated network storage(NAS) hardware or server in residence. Storing data on a home or office network does not count as utilizing the cloud.” (www.pcmag.com) With cloud computing accessing data can be done anywhere.
“Some accounts trace the birth of the term to 2006, when large companies such as Google and Amazon began using “cloud computing”” But the term cloud computing goes back to late 1996. In 1996 Compaq computer company was using the term cloud computing when they were discussing their future on internet based business. “Their vision was detailed and prescient. Not only would all business software move to the Web, but what they termed “cloud computing-enabled applications” like consumer file storage would become common.” (www.technologyreview.com)
Cloud computing has become a large part of daily lives even if many don’t realize it. Varying from streaming movies & TV, listening to music, sending emails, editing documents, storing pictures and other files, or playing games are just a few things that are possible due to cloud computing. Cloud computing services divide into three categories: infrastructure as a service(IaaS), platform as a service(PaaS), and software as a Service(SaaS). With laaS, one can rent IT infrastructure. Things such as servers, virtual machines, storage, and operating systems. PaaS is the cloud computing service that is there to help developers to create applications. Also supply an on-demand environment for develop, test and deliver applications. Finally, SaaS is the method for delivering applications throughout the internet, typically with a subscription basis. With the help of SaaS, cloud providers are able to host and manage the apps and their infrastructure. (azure.microsoft.com)
Cloud computing brings many benefits/advantages to its consumers as well as some disadvantages. Advantages include cost, speed, easy access, productivity, performance, and reliability. Cloud computing reduces the overall expenses of purchasing hardware and software and setting up and running data centers. The ability to quickly deploy applications is another major advantage. With this and operating system can be fully functional in a matter of minutes. The ease of access cloud computing provide is unrivaled. Anyone can access information from anywhere there is an internet connection without any problems. Finally, the performance and reliability. Having almost unlimited storage space and the ability to back up and recover data makes cloud computing even more unique (azure.microsoft.com).
With many advantages, it also comes with few disadvantages. First and major disadvantage is the security of the cloud. When one is using the cloud technology they are supposed to provide sensitive data to a third-party cloud service provider. Hence, exposing all the data to risk. And cloud services are prone to hacker attacks. Lastly, cloud computing services face technical issues. Many times, a stable internet connection is required to use cloud services. And this can be an issue if internet service providers are having issues with their networks.
Cloud computing has become a service that many uses today. The cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities without investing any money in additional hardware or software. It sure brings a lot of benefits to its customer as well as a few disadvantages. I look forward to what cloud computing will become in the future and how it will evolve from what we have today.