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You may have heard the term Cloud computing or ‘the Cloud,’ but could you describe what it is? There are so many definitions flying around that you wouldn’t be alone if you struggled to define it. Cloud computing is simply a set of pooled computing resources and services delivered over the web. When you diagram the relationships between all the elements it resembles a Cloud.
Cloud computing—not to be confused with grid computing, utility computing, or autonomic computing —involves the interaction of several virtualized resources. Cloud Servers connect and share information based on the level of website traffic across the entire network. Cloud computing is often provided “as a service” over the Internet, typically in the form of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS).
Cloud computing customers don’t have to raise the capital to purchase, manage, maintain, and scale the physical infrastructure required to handle drastic traffic fluctuations. Instead of having to invest time and money to keep their applications afloat, Cloud computing customers simply pay for the resources they use, as they use them. This particular characteristic of Cloud computing—its elasticity—means that you no longer need to predict traffic. Engineering for peak traffic becomes a thing of the past.
Why Not Build Your Own Cloud?
Cloud computing environments are designed to operate reliably, scale in a controlled manner, and be cost effective to operate. While all of this can be developed—given enough time, money and specific expertise—by competent in-house engineering teams, the full value of Cloud computing comes into play with Cloud providers. They provide and guarantee all the advantages of the Cloud along with full developer service and support, for a fraction of the cost of creating, maintaining, supporting and operating this complex environment in-house.
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