Cloud computing has been the new buzzword in the industry for quite some time now. But what is it and how is it changing the way work was being done. Is it as simple as it sounds or is there something more to it. Let's see.
Cloud Computing is a new way of managing resources. Gone are those days where you had to buy a server, and by that, I mean a physical server to keep your files so that they can be accessed by the public.
Then came the era of shared servers where you would allow your neighbors to keep their files on your server so that their websites can be viewed by giving you a nominal amount of money.
Then came the dedicated servers where each one would get their physical server without actually buying them and bringing them to their house.
Then came the VPS guys where you could buy a virtual environment which will be as good as the dedicated server.
So what is cloud computing bringing then?
Well, three things - Scalability, Security, and Resources.
If you have used shared hosting, you will know that there is a limit on the amount of space you have, to store your files. A limit on the inodes, a limit on the RAM, a limit on whatever you can think of. Cloud computing overcomes this by giving you what you need when you need it actually. And believe me, it's infinite.
What does it mean you ask? Well. Imagine you have a website, maybe a social networking one hosted on a physical server. On the first day, 2 people visit it. It's all well and good. The next day 10. The next day 50, then 100, then 1000 and so on. But suddenly you start to notice that the website starts slowing down with each new user signing up. You are told you have to buy some more space or maybe RAM for the server. You go out and get some. It works fine for some more days and then you again start facing the dilemma of a slow website. Your users are getting frustrated and you don't have more money to buy more RAM.
What do you do? You take a server for rent from a hosting provider. You agree that you will pay rental for the resources. It works fine for a couple of days but again slows down. The hosting guy says you have to pay more rent for more resources. And while you are negotiating with your hosting provider, your users are having a hard time. You shift to a dedicated server. That too works for some amount of time and then poof! That too is not able to handle the load and shuts down. You are again back at negotiating. By now 30% of your users have left. All the money invested until now helped in no way.
Then you learn about the cloud computing guy. He puts forward a nice proposition. He says "I will look after your website by increasing the resources when the traffic is high(scaling up) and will decrease the resources when there is lesser traffic(scaling down). Also if there is no traffic you don't have to pay either". Ah! swell. Just what you were looking for. No more website going down because of traffic. You are sorted.
Cloud computing has an on-demand resource scaling process. So your RAM or Hard disk etc will increase and decrease dynamically as and when it is needed. And you will be charged only for how much you use it.
But then you think about the security of my website. When I had a server to myself I was able to protect it the way I want. Does cloud computing have that? Well, yes and not just a simple one. It has one of the most secure networks.
And it doesn't stop there. If you are a developer you don't have to purchase a new software/tool to work on. You can rent it and use it like any other software on your PC. Have you heard about Google Stadia. Well yes, the next big thing which is arriving. It allows you to play high-end games at nothing but a good internet connection. You don't have to make a monster cabinet just to play GTA 5. You just need a good internet connection. Are you a creative freak who cannot live without photoshop. Well, the good news is that you don't have to buy it, it's there in the cloud so just rent it and use it.
In short think of it like this. Cloud computing is an online supermarket where you can rent or try stuff and only have to pay as much as you use it. You want to play a game, go to the games shop in the cloud. Play, pay and then return. You want to calculate something, go to the Office365 shop in the cloud. Calculate, pay and return.
Next Read: The "Cloud modelling" show!