Nuts and Bolts of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing? Sounds a bit uncanny! Right! Well, what it does on the first instant is send in images of cloud before your mind’s eye and your confusion seems to build up more and more.However, before any more is dwelt on the concept of Cloud technology, let’s know how the term gained currency. It is common for programmers and software architects to use the symbol or image of a cloud in their diagrams and flowcharts while referring to Internet- hence the name Cloud computing came into being. So whenever hosted services are provided over the web, what you get to call it is cloud-based computing.The other question you may ask is how it differs from conventional web hosting. In fact the difference lies in the fact that a) a cloud service is always a totally managed hosting solution by the service provider, b) it is an on-demand service and exists in slots of minutes or hours, c) it is flexible in that you can take as much as you need just like your gasoline.With technological advances and greater web connectivity and need to cut down IT operational costs, industry experts have seen tremendous burst in adoption of cloud computing service.Cloud services can be classified in three broad groups, a) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), b) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), & c) Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The SaaS model is one where both software and hardware infrastructure is made available by the service provider and he communicates with user via a front end portal. Services like inventory control, web mail, data processing etc can be accessed on a SaaS model of cloud.The PaaS model of Cloud is one in which product development utilities and set of software are hosted on service provider’s infrastructure. Users create and produce applications directly on the provider’s platform over the web. Notable and well-known examples of PaaS are Google Apps and I am also trying to purchase hosted services on the Public Cloud for our white paper writing and content services.Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS is a cloud model that offers virtual server instances with blocks of storage on demand and unique IP addresses. The virtual servers and storage are accessed, stopped and configured by subscribers using the API (application program interface) of the service provider. A good example of IaaS is the Amazon Web Services. The Amazon model is also known as an instance of Public Cloud. In Public cloud, services can be purchase by anyone on the web while in contrast Private Cloud makes available hosted services to a restricted and pre-defined network of people. However, the key idea and focus in Cloud computing is to render elastic, scalable and on-demand computing resources to users globally.

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