Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the next natural step in the evolution of on-demand information technology services and products. To a large extent cloud computing will be based on virtualized resources. The idea of cloud computing is based on a very fundamental principal of `reusability of IT capabilities`. The difference that cloud computing brings compared to traditional concepts of “grid computing”, “distributed computing”, “utility computing”, or “autonomic computing” is to broaden horizons across organizational boundaries.

Though many cloud computing architectures and deployments are powered by grids, based on autonomic characteristics and consumed on the basis of utilities billing, the concept of a cloud is fairly distinct and complementary to the concepts of grid, SaaS, Utility Computing etc. In theory, cloud computing promises availability of all required hardware, software, platform, applications, infrastructure and storage with an ownership of just an internet connection. People can access the information that they need from any device with an Internet connection—Including mobile and handheld phones—rather than being chained to the desktop. It also means lower costs, since there is no need to install software or hardware.

Cloud computing products and services can be classified into 4 major categories:
  • Application as service (AaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)