What’s the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all questions you have probably heard or asked yourself. The term cloud computing is everywhere. At the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and access data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard disk drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. Whenever you store data on or run programs from the hard disk drive, that is called local storage and computing. All you need is physically close to you, which suggests accessing your data is easy and fast, for that one computer, or others on the local network.
Working off your hard disk drive is how a computer industry functioned for decades, some would argue it is still superior to cloud computing, numerous reasons I will explain shortly. The cloud is also not about having a dedicated network attached storage hardware or server in residence. Storing data on an office or home network doesn’t count as utilizing the cloud. – For it to be considered cloud computing, you need to access your data or your programs over the Internet, or at the very least, have that data synced with some other info over the Web. The ending result is the same: with an on-line connection, cloud computing can be done anyplace, anytime.
Consumer vs. Business – Let us be clear here. We are speaking about cloud computing as it impacts individual consumers of us who settle-back at home or in small-to medium offices and use the Internet on a daily basis. There’s an entirely different cloud with regards to business. Some companies choose to implement Software-as-a Service, where the company subscribes to an application it accesses over the Internet. There is also Platform-as-a Service, where a business may create its own custom applications for use by all in the business. And do not forget the mighty Infrastructure-as-a Service, where players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace provide a backbone that may be rented out by other companies.
– Obviously, cloud computing is big business: The market generated $100 billion a year in 2012, which might be $127 billion by 2017 and $500 billion by 2020. Common Cloud Examples – The lines between local computing and cloud computing sometimes become very, very blurry. That is since the cloud is part of almost anything on our computers nowadays. You may easily have a local piece of software that utilizes a form of cloud computing for storage.
That said, Microsoft also offers a set of internet based applications, Office Online, which are Internet only versions of Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote accessed via your Internet browser without installing anything.