Cloud Computing means accessing the hosted services over the Internet. That means, we can access our documents or interact with our application or develop applications that are stored at the service provider from any place.
Cloud Computing Provides Various Services
· SaaS: Software-as-a-service products provide complete hardware infrastructure and software applications. User has to interact with it using front-end tool no matter where he is, e.g. salesforce.com
· PaaS: Platform-as-a-service products provide some softwares and development tools also. Users can create their application in provider’s infrastructure at any place, e.g. GoogleApps.
· IaaS: Infrastructure-as-a-service products provide virtual server and memory. Users have to use providers API to start stop access and configure their virtual server, e.g. Amazon web services.
· DaaS: Desktop-as-a-service enables us to use our desktop virtually from anywhere.
The Pros and Cons
· Lower computer costs: Not necessary to have high-powered computers to access web applications. Even with cheaper computer also can give efficient results because data is stored in the web not with us.
· Improved performance: Everything is run in cloud so our computer doesn’t have to take much effort to run applications. As a result, performance will be improved automatically.
· Unlimited storage capacity: Storage is also one kind of service provided by the Cloud, so there is no limit to store data (based on the service provider).
· Device independence: The actual documents are in the Cloud, so you can access it wherever you are.
· Requires a constant High speed Internet connection: To get benefit from this we need to have always a high speed Internet connection.
· Stored data might not be secure: There is no guarantee that your data stored is in cloud is securely protected. Intruders may access to your vital data at any time.
Who will get maximum benefit from the cloud?
· Managers or Collaborators: Whoever requires to share and edit documents in real time between multiple users.
· The cost conscious user: Whoever wants to invest less on hardware such as harddisks and processor.
· Who wants more storage space: Whoever wants to store huge amount of data with low maintenance costs.
Though there are many advantages of Cloud Computing, we cannot ignore the drawbacks. It is being compared with Centralized systems of the 50’s and 60’s that crippled the freedom of the users. However, if the apprehensions raised are properly addressed, there is no doubt that Cloud Computing can transform the way we do computing in the future that is not so far.