If you are using internet in any way, you cannot escape cloud computing. In no case, you can ignore it any more irrespective whether as an individual or as an organization. In all certainty, you are using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realize it.
Understanding cloud computing is a bit easier if you choose to understand cloud and computing separately first and then as a unit.
Computing can be understood as “transforming”, as computing transforms input into outputs based on the program in it. We feed in to get what we want using that electro-electronic-mechanical device which we simply call as a computer.
If computing is happening remotely, instead of in your computer in your home, you are entering into cloud domain. With the supply of your “input” from one location, and the computing is carried at remote locations, situated millions of miles away in some cases, and still produces and deliver results to you or to the place and person one choose. The place of computing is changed from your computer in your house to remote - and that could be anywhere on Internet (“the cloud”). In a way, where one can have access to internet, they have access to cloud. It is like natural clouds - all the time they are there and moving and still no one can say they did not have cloud above their heads.
Delivering computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more over the Internet (“the cloud”) can be agreed as cloud computing. Cloud providers are companies that offer cloud computing services. Cloud computing services are generally charged based on usage, similar to how water or electricity are charged to us as consumers at home.
You really don’t need a local machine as you can rent a machine with all applications you need and the computing power required. Be ready to pay the rent for the duration one uses without worrying about anything like the cost of acquisition and running, etc. You don’t own anything, and you have access to almost everything, if you are ready to pay. As the scale is big, the cost to access is affordable to most. Cloud technologies forced old companies to behave in a revolutionary new way and created new many companies. It overhauled the business models and forced many companies to rethink their strategies. And, it has become a reason for existence, growth and impact for many great companies such as Salesforce. Cloud computing helps individuals and companies. It helps in testing the ideas, converting ideas into a business; transform it from a local phenomenon to a global wave–in no time and with limited budgets. Scaling is no more an issue due to cloud computing. Companies like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix did not exist a few years back. Ideas can be turned into reality much faster, smoother, and at decreasing prices due to cloud computing. Getting a billion dollar business and valuation is not a lifetime job anymore. It is a decadal job now.
Cloud computing helps in creating a technical democracy where any individual or a small business can compete with anyone of any scale from anywhere, and on online as cloud enabled them to compete, win, scale and sustain and create impact globally.
Cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes for most of the activities we do online regularly and routinely as accessing internet, surfing the net, email communication, watching movies or TV, listening to music, playing games or storing pictures,etc. Everyone is using and making use of Cloud Computing from Individuals to startups, to global corporations, from local to global organizations, for diverse purposes and to fulfill various needs and desires. The trend is “what you cannot do with the cloud which you could do with the computers earlier”. Cloud is dominating due to various inherent advantages. Cloud computing eliminates most of the capital expenditure for companies except requiring an accessing device and internet. As the cloud services are available on demand and provided as self service, one can scale elastically and responsively very fast in minutes with few mouse clicks and thus provide a lot of flexibility and ability to cope with the fluctuations and responsive to the customer demands. There is no need for scarcity as a pressure coming to the cloud computing. Cloud computing also removes the need for many IT professionals as many tasks are accomplished by the cloud providers. Cloud computing offers many benefits over a corporate data center as the cloud providers run their services on a worldwide network of secure data centers, on the latest and efficient computing hardware. All these provide reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale. Cloud has its own issues related to security even though cloud is reliable. As a business practice, data is mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network which helps in making data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive. Most cloud computing services are served in one or three ways - infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (Saas). As these three services build on top of one another, they are sometimes called the cloud computing stack. Knowing in detail about them and specifically how they are unique and which needs are served makes it easier to accomplish business goals. All clouds are not the same. Clouds are deployed in three different ways: public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud, each with its own considerations and utility. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider such as Amazon, Microsoft. A private cloud is maintained on a private network and the hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private clouds, bound together by the technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. Many cloud computing services provide a browser-based dashboard for their customers to use and manage their accounts. A few are also designed to work with APIs and a command-line interface (CLI). Internet opened global economy and cloud computing is helping in taking the internet global as it can make every one global in their interactions as anyone creates, share, support, and sell to anyone which resulted in opportunities for everyone.