What is Cloud Computing?
Date: Fall 2011
What is cloud computing?
"Cloud" in today's high tech industry is congruent to the Internet,
where the Internet is a network of computers. These computers have
the capabilities of extreme number crunching or complex
calculations, data processing or storage, and applications and
services. Respectively, examples of industries include High
Performance Computing, data warehousing, ISP (Internet service
providers), and web hosting companies.
The simplest of these to explain is High Performance Computing.
For smaller companies, or even Universities, who do not have the
money to purchase Supercomputers, these small companies can hire the
services of other companies who provide mathematical analysis or 3
dimensional modeling. The connection between the two companies is
Cloud computing consists of services that include Software as a
Service (SaaS), Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and a few more.
In short, it is like having a supercomputer in your building (if you
can afford one) to perform complex calculations or modeling, BUT
that supercomputer is not in your building - it is at another
location, in your city, or in another state or in another country,
connected through the Internet, or simply in the "cloud" - Cloud Computing.
When a huge array of computers are used to solve a problem, this is
a related area, called grid computing, but that would not be
answering your question.
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Update: June 2012