Cloud computing is where tasks and file storage on your computer are performed and stored elsewhere. The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Analysts predict that the latest technology inventions in cloud computing will significantly influence how we use our computers and mobile devices. By using an internet connection you can connect to a service that has the architecture, infrastructure and software to manage any task or storage requirement at less cost. The advantages of cloud computing is that it eliminates the difficulty and expense of maintaining, upgrading and scaling your own computer hardware and software while increasing efficiency, speed and resources. Your computer’s processing speed, memory capacity, software applications and maintenance requirements are minimized.
Cloud computing, also on-demand computing, is a kind of Internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. It relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network.
Advocates claim that cloud computing allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs, and focus on projects that differentiate their businesses instead of on infrastructure. Proponents also claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand. Cloud providers typically use a “pay as you go” model. This can lead to unexpectedly high charges if administrators do not adapt to the cloud pricing model.
The present availability of high-capacity networks, low-cost computers and storage devices as well as the widespread adoption of hardware virtualization, service-oriented architecture, and autonomic and utility computing have led to a growth in cloud computing. Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands decrease.
Cloud computing has become a highly demanded service or utility due to the advantages of high computing power, cheap cost of services, high performance, scalability, accessibility as well as availability. Some cloud vendors are experiencing growth rates of 50% per year, but being still in a stage of infancy, it has pitfalls that need to be addressed to make cloud computing services more reliable and user friendly.
Microsoft, IBM and Google are some of the companies that are investing heavily into the research and development of cloud technology.