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The Fundamentals of Cloud Computing


Today we are going to understand the concept of cloud computing; this is where data or software applications or processing power are accessed from the cloud of online resources. It permits individual users to access data and software applications from any device as well as allowing any organizations to reduce their capital costs by purchasing software and hardware as a utility service.


Cloud computing is closely associated with Web 2.0; in particular, the key elements of both trends is the emergence of online applications known as Software as a Service or SaaS. Commercial Software as a Service includes Clarizen’s online project management tools as well as customers relationship management and human resource management offered by Salesforce, Employease and Zoho.a number of online office applications are also now available and include Google Docs, Blist and Sliderocket. These allow anybody to create or load documents into an online cloud and work on them from any kind of computer device with an internet connection.


In addition to Software as a Service cloud computing also allows for development Hardware as a Service or Haas. This is where computing and processing capacity is purchased on the web. Amazon for example now offers a web service called Elastic Compute Cloud. This allows users to purchase computing power online and on the basis of the processor costs, storage and data transfer they require in each instance. Google has also launched a similar service called Google App engine which permits developers to run web applications on Google’s infrastructure.


Hardware as a Service can offer many advantages. Amazon for example highlights how EC2 can be

  • Elastic because it allows users to increase or decrease their hardware requirements in minutes
  • Flexible because can choose specification of each individual instance of computing power purchased
  • Inexpensive as no dedicated capital investment is required
  • And reliable as EC2 uses Amazon’s proven data centers and infrastructure.