1.1 What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is buzzing word now-a-days. But what does it really mean? Do you have to be sitting on a mountain with your computer among the clouds? Or on a plane with a laptop? Does it work when its sunny? Can you actually type on a cloud computing keyboard?
According to Wikipedia, Cloud computing is a virtualized computing platform that provides infinite resources for running your applications. It leverages economies of scale to save you money by only requiring you to pay for what you use.
But cloud computing is more big than that definition. And its growing bigger every day. There are basically 3 layers of cloud computing. Application, platform and infrastructure. Companies use them differently based on what they offer.
At the bottom of the foundation, the infrastructure. This is where things start and where people began to build. This is the layer where cloud computing lives.
1.2 Motivation behind cloud computing:
Lets talk about hosting which is an older concept. Suppose you are a company and you have a website. And the website have lots of short conversations that are exchanged between members. You start with few users talking to each other and they start telling their friends about your site and they tell their friends and their friends tell their friends so on. You are successful but with success also come some problems. Your equipments cant keep up with demands as user-base grows up. You servers slows down. And suddenly you are in trouble.
A few years ago you would have put your website on a computer or server somewhere. And when success kicked in you had to run around buy or rent some more servers and set them up or have someone set them up for you. Hundreds of thousands of companies do the same till now. This takes lot of money and it takes a lot of time. This is called hosting. It takes time to set them up and they cost quit a bit of money to keep running all the time. You pay for these servers when you using them and you also pay for them when you not using them.
You really just want to build your service and improve your project. But with fastest growing user-base instead of success your customers are getting angry. And your successful business is started shrinking away.
Now you have a better option. Cloud computing. With cloud computing you have access to computing power instantly when you need it. Put your website on a cloud server just like you would put it on a dedicated server. And people start visiting your site. And if you suddenly need more computing power dedicated to your website you can scale as much as you need almost instantly. You get your computing power from the cloud on demand and your customers remain happy without noticing any difference. And if your traffic just back down, you can release your servers back into the cloud just as easily. Billing is also easy. It works as the same way you pay for gas or electricity. When you turn on a light the meter starts running and you are billed for the electrical power your take from the grid. And when you are done with the light you just turn it off and the meter stops running. Or you can think getting a taxi. The meter runs when you ride. It runs much slower when you are stopped and when you are done with your ride you get out and you pay the fair. It is not necessary to buy the whole taxi for the trip. Billing system for cloud computing is also just the same. Another reason is the service quality that cloud computing provides. Think about you are using any web mail service like gmail,yahoo,msn etc. Do you really care where and on what physical servers your email hosted? Isn’t that vastly more important how the service works? And that is reliable and stable and easy to use.
1.3 How do you actually work with the cloud where you can’t physically touch your hardware?
Answer is easy, using your own personal computer. You can remotely access your cloud server and control it. You can put what ever you need, websites, software or code and then just disconnected when you are done. You never actually touch it physically. The key on cloud computing is not to focus on hardware. You just focus on your website or your software or code or what ever you are doing.
There are three reason why cloud hosting is becoming so popular.
a) Scalability: Its easy to grow or shrink to match your demand. If you need one, two or ten servers with cloud hosting you can easily grow or shrink the number based on your need.
b) Instant: Cloud hosting is instant. The computing power is there when you need it. You just turn it on. What ever you need is instantly available on the cloud. And when your need goes down you can simply release them to the cloud.
c) Save money: You have to pay only for what you use. Also saves maintenance costs and costs of having physical servers.
With cloud hosting you can stop worrying about you hardware. You can work on building you business instead. Using cloud hosting save you time and money . Its there for you to use instantly.