What is it?
Cloud computing is the progression of several technologies that together have vastly altered the landscape of typical medium and large organizational infrastructure, in much a similar way the www (World Wide Web) altered the way we communicate, do business and so many more aspects of day to day life, in so little time yet more than a decade ago. The clouds is essentially built upon the initial technologies and under pinning technologies behind the WWW, and have simply been made accessible publicly, the theory has been put into practice through the amalgamation of converged technologies.
Is a cloud the Internet?
Many will think of the cloud as an alternative name for the Internet in much the same way we refer to it as ‘the web’. The Internet is merely the fundamental network, on which the cloud is connected. Cloud computing allows use of technologies, on demand from anywhere permitted by the cloud. More often than not the cloud requires no additional software to be installed on your personal computer, smart phone or laptop, access can be granted through an internet browser or portal.
Cloud computing gives you the freedom to use a computer terminal in any public library or your laptop at any open wireless hotspot and access ‘the cloud’, without needing to have any particular operating system, browser or type of computer.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS in its simplest description refers to the software inside of the cloud, also known as Software of Demand.
SaaS makes software available through a web browser, but still allows the original access methods. An example of SaaS in action would be the famous Google Gmail web based email. You can access your Google email here without the need for dedicated software; furthermore this will often run on a less capable machine such as a net book or thin client. While Gmail is a free service, other SaaS services may bill per time used, trends suggest free SaaS is becoming more and more popular.
SaaS is a scalable solution and can be added to or deducted from as is required; this makes it a good choice for many businesses whose demand is dynamic, such as over the Christmas period for a retail outfit.
The hardware which cloud software runs upon is out of the hands of the user, its unlikely that you will know the exact location your cloud is being hosted geographically, except for the Country. Unlike traditional server hosting offerings which are static the cloud is dynamic.
SaaS is accessible and convenient for the end user, it offers scalability, reliability and is either free or pay per usage, these make it highly appealing to businesses looking to implement a new software solution.
About the Author
Isaac writes on behalf of The Caring Host who provide Green Web Hosting for their customers, offering a fair hosting guarantee - The Caring Host does not oversell their servers. Their servers are 130% powered by windmills, 30% more power returned to the grid than is used!