Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
Everyone is talking about "the cloud." But what does it mean?
Business applications are moving to the cloud. It's not just a fad—the shift from traditional software models to the Internet has steadily gained momentum over the last 10 years. Looking ahead, the next decade of cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere, through mobile devices.
ith cloud computing, you eliminate those headaches because you're not managing hardware and software—that's the responsibility of an experienced vendor like salesforce.com. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: You only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
Cloud-based apps can be up and running in days or weeks, and they cost less. With a cloud app, you just open a browser, log in, customize the app, and start using it.
Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like customer relationship management (CRM), HR, accounting, and much more. Some of the world's largest companies moved their applications to the cloud with salesforce.com after rigorously testing the security and reliability of our infrastructure.
Types of cloud computing
Delivering desktops as a managed service lets you create a more flexible IT infrastructure so you can help your business respond more quickly to market changes and opportunities. Deploy applications and desktops faster and more consistently to a wider variety of clients, lowering costs while improving service levels. Extend the life of legacy applications and eliminate installation conflicts by virtualizing applications. For remote and branch offices, move your desktops into the cloud and deliver them as a managed service wherever they're needed while retaining the control and security you need.
This type of cloud computing is the traditional model that everyone thinks of when they envision cloud computing. In this model, vendors dynamically allocate resources (hard drive space, RAM, and processor power) on a per-user basis through web applications. Salesforce.com and ADP are two well-known vendors that offer public cloud computing services.
• Unlimited access As long as you have internet access and a compatible device such as a smart phone or laptop computer, you can access your data anywhere.
• Unlimited data capacity : Public cloud computing is flexible to meet your business' growing data storage and processing needs.
This model combines your business' hardware with cloud computing. Generally, one of your business applications such as Exchange Server 2007 or Microsoft Dynamics will interact with a vendor-hosted service. For example, Cisco, traditionally recognized for networking hardware, offers IronPort Email Security as their hybrid solution and Google, known for hosted solution, offers Postini email archiving.
• Hardware required: Hybrid cloud computing requires that you have or purchase hardware to interact with the hosted solution.
• Software required : In addition to hardware requirements, your business will need to have or purchase the software to manipulate and store data.
Also known as "internal cloud computing," private cloud computing is the next generation of virtualization. While similar to virtualization at the server, workstation and application levels, private cloud computing has enhanced features that appeal to many businesses. Two examples of private cloud solutions are VMware vCloud and Citrix VDI.
• Increased data securityYou and your business are in control of security since data never leaves your network.
• Simple compliance enforcement Depending upon your vertical market, government regulations may prohibit your business from using traditional or hybrid cloud computing. Private cloud computing lets you take advantage of cloud computing features while keeping all regulated data onsite and secure.
• Customized IT network control By keeping your cloud private, you are free to customize your network to meet your specific business needs.