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Cloud computing refers to the use and access of multiple server-based computational resources via a digital network (WAN, Internet connection using the World Wide Web, etc.). Cloud users may access the server resources using a computer, netbook, pad computer, smart phone, or other device. In cloud computing, applications are provided and managed by the cloud server and data is also stored remotely in the cloud configuration. Users do not download and install applications on their own device or computer; all processing and storage is maintained by the cloud server. The on-line services may be offered from a cloud provider or by a private organization.

Cloud Computing visual diagram

Contents
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1 Introduction 2 How it works 3 Technical description 4 Risks

5 Overview o 5.1 Comparisons o 5.2 Characteristics o 5.3 Architecture 6 History 7 Key characteristics (from a business perspective) 8 Layers o 8.1 Provider o 8.2 Client o 8.3 Application o 8.4 Platform o 8.5 Infrastructure o 8.6 Server 9 Deployment models o 9.1 Public cloud o 9.2 Community cloud o 9.3 Hybrid cloud and hybrid IT delivery o 9.4 Combined cloud o 9.5 Private cloud 10 Cloud engineering 11 Cloud storage 12 The Intercloud 13 Issues o 13.1 Privacy o 13.2 Compliance o 13.3 Legal o 13.4 Open source o 13.5 Open standards o 13.6 Security o 13.7 Availability and performance o 13.8 Data usage o 13.9 Sustainability and siting o 13.10 Use by crackers 14 Research 15 Criticism of the term 16 See also 17 References 18 External links

[edit] Introduction
In the past computing tasks such as word processing were not possible without the installation of application software on a user's computer. A user bought a license for each application from a software vendor and obtained the right to install the application on one computer system. With the development of local area networks (LAN) and more networking capabilities, the client-

server model of computing was born, where server computers with enhanced capabilities and large storage devices could be used to host application services and data for a large workgroup. Typically, in client-server computing, a network-friendly client version of the application was required on client computers which utilized the client system's memory and CPU for processing, even though resultant application data files (such as word processing documents) were stored centrally on the data servers. Multiple user licenses of an application were purchased for use by many users on a network. Cloud computing differs from the classic client-server model by providing applications from a server that are executed and managed by a client's web browser, with no installed client version of an application required. Centralization gives cloud service providers complete control over the versions of the browser-based applications provided to clients, which removes the need for version upgrades or license management on individual client computing devices. The term "software as a service" (SaaS) is sometimes used to describe application programs offered through cloud computing. A common shorthand for a provided cloud computing service (or even an aggregation of all existing cloud services) is "The Cloud". Any computer or web-friendly device connected to the Internet may access the same pool of computing power, applications, and files in a cloud-computing environment. Users may remotely store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks; play games; or do word processing on a remote server. Data is centrally stored, so the user does not need to carry a storage medium such as a DVD or thumb drive. Desktop applications that connect to internethost email providers may be considered cloud applications, including web-based Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! email services. Private companies may also make use of their own customized cloud email servers for their employees. Cloud computing technologies are regarded by some analysts as a technological evolution,[1] or may be seen as a marketing trap by others such as Richard Stallman.[2][3] Consumers now routinely use data-intensive applications driven by cloud technology that may have been previously unavailable due to cost and deployment complexity.[citation needed] In many companies, employees and company departments are bringing a flood of consumer technology into the workplace, which raises legal compliance and security concerns for the corporation which may be relieved by cloud computing.[citation needed]

[edit] How it works


A cloud user needs a client device such as a laptop or desktop computer, pad computer, smart phone, or other computing resource with a web browser (or other approved access route) to access a cloud system via the World Wide Web. Typically the user will log into the cloud at a service provider or private company, such as their employer. Cloud computing works on a clientserver basis, using web browser protocols. The cloud provides server-based applications and all data services to the user, with output displayed on the client device. If the user wishes to create a document using a word processor, for example, the cloud provides a suitable application running on the server which displays work done by the user on the client web browser display. Memory allocated to the client system's web browser is used to make the application data appear on the

client system display, but all computations and changes are recorded by the server, and final results including files created or altered are permanently stored on the cloud servers. Performance of the cloud application is dependent upon the network access, speed and reliability as well as the processing speed of the client device. Since cloud services are web-based, they work on multiple platforms, including Linux, Macintosh, and Windows computers. Smart phones, pads and tablet devices with Internet and World Wide Web access also provide cloud services to telecommuting and mobile users. A service provider may pool the processing power of multiple remote computers in a cloud to achieve routine tasks such as backing up of large amounts of data, word processing, or computationally intensive work. These tasks might normally be difficult, time consuming, or expensive for an individual user or a small company to accomplish, especially with limited computing resources and funds. With cloud computing, clients require only a simple computer, such as netbooks, designed with cloud computing in mind, or even a smartphone, with a connection to the Internet, or a company network, in order to make requests to and receive data from the cloud, hence the term "software as a service" (SaaS). Computation and storage is divided among the remote computers in order to handle large volumes of both, thus the client need not purchase expensive hardware or software to handle the task. The outcome of the processing task is returned to the client over the network, dependent on the speed of the Internet connection.

[edit] Technical description


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a concise and specific definition: Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.[4] Cloud computing provides 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. Parallels 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 virtualized resources[5][6] It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.[7] This may take the form of web-based tools or applications that users can access and use through a web browser as if they were programs installed locally on their own computers.[8]

Cloud computing providers deliver applications via the internet, which are accessed from a Web browser, 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 such as Citrix XenApp, 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. Most cloud computing infrastructures consist of services delivered through shared data-centers. The Cloud may appear as a single point of access for consumers' computing needs; notable examples include the iTunes Store and the iOS App Store. Commercial offerings may be required to meet service level agreements (SLAs), but specific terms are less often negotiated by smaller companies.[9]