Cloud Computing; an Introduction

Cloud computing illustration

What is Cloud Computing?

Once upon a time when the personal computer, PC, was created, the user was only limited to information available in his own computer or a local server. As PC usage grew, there was a need to access, query and receive information from a dedicated stable centralized location which is not characterized by downtimes and unavailability.

To many people cloud computing could mean accessing the internet, Gmail, watching movies on Netflix or storing files in a cloud storage service like Google Drive. However cloud computing has a much deeper meaning.

In 2011, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) gave a final definition for the term ‘Cloud Computing’.

Cloud computing is defined as a model for enabling ubiquitous,convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computable resources. e.g.( applications and services, storage, networks, servers) that can be rapidly positioned and released with minimal management effort of service provider interaction.

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing

A good cloud service should have the following characteristics;

  1. On demand self-service
  2. Broad network access
  3. Resource pooling.
  4. Rapid elasticity or expansion
  5. Measured service

Benefits you can get from using a cloud computing service includes;

Pay as you go service: only pay for a service you want to use within a specific time frame.

Security and disaster assistance: you are certain that your service will not be compromised, and even if it happens there will be prompt assistance

Off-site data storage: Cloud storage.

Lower cost of ownership: you only pay for the service you want to use. You don’t need to set up any local server or so.

Access from anywhere: You can access your files from any location around the world using your PC, laptop or mobile device.

Automatic and easily upgraded: you can easily and by yourself upgrade or downgrade your service as desired.

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