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How Cloud computing helps us ?
Concept of cloud computing is now emerging with companies of all shapes and sizes. Companies have acknowledged the advantages and are adapting to this new technology.
Cloud computing is the technique or art of using computing hardware and software available in a remote location and accessible over a network. End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or mobile applications while the business software and user's data are stored on servers at a remote location. In the business model using software as a service (SaS), users are provided access to application software and databases where cloud providers manage the entire infrastructure and platforms.
The mother concept of cloud computing, "intergalactic computer network" was introduced in 1969 by J.C.R. Licklider. His vision was interconnectivity of globe and accessibility of programs and data at any site from anywhere. One of the first milestones for cloud computing was the arrival of Salesforce.com in 1999, which delivered enterprise applications via a simple website.
The next development was Amazon Web Services in 2002, which provided a suite of cloud-based services including storage, computation and even human intelligence .Another big milestone came in 2009, as Web 2.0 hit its stride and Google and others started to offer browser-based enterprise applications through services such as Google Apps. The most important contribution to cloud computing was "killer apps" from technology giants Microsoft and Google.
Cloud computing is indeed a boon for all but its benefits are path breaking majorly for small business set up. Cloud computing enhances output productivity with lesser manpower and time. It reduces expense on technology infrastructure. People worldwide can access the cloud on an Internet connection.
There’s no need to spend big money on hardware, software or licensing fees to set up or expand business. Availability of almost unlimited storage capacity is another advantage. Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than storing the same on a physical device. In the cloud, software and applications integration occurs automatically. Cloud computing gives an advantage of quick deployment.
Here are some very useful examples of cloud computing:
Google Wave: Using Google Wave one can create a document and then invite others to comment, amend and offer opinions. Other such examples are Spicebird, Mikogo, Stixy and Vyew.
Online Suites: It enables to set up virtual office by providing applications like a word processor, a spreadsheet creator and a presentation or publishing platform online. More examples are Ajax13, Think Free and Microsoft’s Office Live.
Processing power booster: If one needs more processing power, there is a cloud for such service provided by AbiCloud, Elastichosts and NASA’s Nebula platform.
Online storageDrive: Google Drive helps in storing MP3′s, video, photos and documents online so that it can be accessed anywhere. More examples are Humyo, Zumo Drive, Microsoft’s Sky Drive, S3 from Amazon and Apple I Cloud which can be used for online storage and synchronization of mail, contacts, calendar, and more.
Cloud Hardware: Device that is completely cloud-centric is the Samsung Chrome book Series 3 that has enough local storage and power to let it run a Web browser, Google Chrome. From there one can access online apps, media, and storage on the cloud.
In fact all of Google's services could be considered as example of cloud computing: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Voice etc.
Cloud computing has so many advantages. However, there is always a flip side of everything.
In spite of its many benefits, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. This technology is always prone to outages and other technical issues.
Even the best cloud service providers run into this kind of trouble, in spite of keeping up high standards of maintenance. User will need a very good Internet connection to be logged onto the server at all times to access applications or data seamlessly.
Other major issue while in the cloud is that of security. Before adopting this technology, user should know that he will be surrendering all his company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider which is risky. Hence, one need to make absolutely sure that he chooses the most reliable service provider, who will keep his information totally secure.