Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing and includes all types of hosted services over the Internet. In other words, cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on shared computer processing resources over a network, rather than on local servers to store and process data.
Cloud computing relies on high performance computing, in order to perform the immense amount of necessary computations per second. To do this, cloud computing uses high capacity networks of large groups of linked servers, typically consisted of low-cost computers and storage devices. In many cases, the performance of cloud computing is maximized using virtualization techniques.
Cloud computing has obtained mass appeal in the last few years and implies a great shift from the traditional way we think about IT resources. Here are some reasons why it has become so popular:
- Cost: Cloud computing eliminates the cost of buying hardware and software and setting up and managing the data centers.
- Speed: As most cloud computing services are provided on demand, IT teams can adjust resources within minutes and meet the business demands.
- Performance: Cloud computing services run on worldwide networks, that are regularly upgraded and use the fastest and most efficient software and hardware.
- Reliability: Cloud computing allows off-site storage solutions with little hardware requirements, so the data remains safe from any risk or disaster.
Most cloud computing services fall into three categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (Saas). On the other hand, there are three types of clouds: public, private and hybrid. Each one serves different needs and users can opt for the one they need, in order to accomplish their goals in the most efficient way.
The security of the cloud computing remains a concern, especially regarding the public cloud. Nevertheless, this concern decreases gradually, as data encryption and various identity and access management tools have improved security and reliability of the cloud, helping gain ground day by day.