Jun 29, 2011

Isn’t “cloud computing” just a new way of saying “internet-based service?”

Newbie here ... Isn’t “cloud computing” just a new way of saying “internet-based service?”

Yes, but there's a little bit more to it. Here's a really good background article about cloud computing that will give you a helpful overview.

Cloud computing

"Cloud computing is a marketing term for technologies that provide computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. A parallel to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, wherein end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.

Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on Internet protocols, and it typically involves provisioning of dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources.[1][2] It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.[3] This may take the form of web-based tools or applications that users can access and use through a web browser as if the programs were installed locally on their own computers.[4]

Cloud computing providers deliver applications via the internet, which are accessed from web browsers and desktop and mobile apps, while the business software and data are stored on servers at a remote location. In some cases, legacy applications (line of business applications that until now have been prevalent in thin client Windows computing) are delivered via a screen-sharing technology, while the computing resources are consolidated at a remote data center location; in other cases, entire business applications have been coded using web-based technologies such as AJAX."

You are correct: normal website applications may be "cloudwashed" by just calling it "the cloud", but what most vendors mean when they promote their services as "cloud" services is that they have a fully-realized web 2.0 experience: dynamic access to your data through a web application, redundancy across their hosted servers (web, application, database, etc), the ability to scale up or down as needed, and the ability to bill their customers monthly based on which services are used, rather than forcing their customers to invest heavily in hardware and software and infrastructure. Cloud computing should really be the full experience of modern technologies, ready to go for any size customer.

Answer this