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    What is a Cloud and Cloud Computing?

    You would have heard this new term "Cloud" alot of times and it is being said that it will change the way people  store and access data. The more meaningful term to use would be Cloud Computing,  Almost all the big tech houses are establishing a Cloud of their own and even providing Cloud services to other firms. Cloud is now just not limited to your computers at home or office but its now even getting into your smartphones. Huawei launched two phones with built-in cloud services and now Windows Phone has SkyDrive which provides cloud services from Microsoft.

    cloud and cloud computing

    So the question that arises here is that What is a Cloud? It is not a Cloud in the sky but at the same time it is called Cloud, continue reading and you will end up having all the info regarding Cloud and how it works.

    What is a cloud?

    cloud computing
    Image Source: Wikipedia.com

    There is no formal definition that exists about what a cloud is and i will like to tell you that alot of people who talk about cloud and its benefits don't even know how to exactly define a cloud. Initially i will give you a rough idea about what is a cloud, a cloud is nothing but datacenter's and servers with huge storage spaces which are located at a remote places, which the user is unknown of. These datacenter's located at remote places are connected to the client end station which can be a PC or a mobile device through the network, i.e., Internet. These datacenter's and servers with huge storage spaces provide various services to the user over the network. Some cloud services that are provided are storage services, software services, running organisation specific servers, etc.

    Cloud computing is defined by some as a delivery of a service rather than a product where resources are shared and software services are delivered to the user over the network. Now you know what actually a cloud is, the name cloud is given cause the datacenter's location is remote and users need not to know the location and architecture behind the cloud. All the details behind the cloud are hidden from the end user. The end user is only concerned with the services he wants rather than the complexity of the cloud back-end. 

    How it works: 

    Lets think that there is a new organisation who wants to establish its IT department, for it they need to buy all the hardware and systems needed for the work. Than the organisation needs to buy all the software's that are needed and their licences for each of the system hardware but buying license for each of the system will be very costly. Organisation will need to setup servers, invest in making it secure and employ special staff for the maintenance purpose of the servers and overall system. All of the above tasks will increase the overall costs and will increase the work of the IT department making it more complex for the organisation to establish the new department. All these problems and cost can be cut down if we use the Cloud services to implement the functions of IT department. Clouds provide software services which will enable you to use the same software on many different machines without buying the license for each one of them, thus cutting the costs involved. Some more points and benifits of Cloud services are listed below:  

    • Clouds are device and location independent, this provides flexibility to the organisation because its workers can work from any part of the world by accessing the cloud through a cloud specific application or the web browser.

    • Cloud services can be used by small firms as well as big organisations.

    • Security is another benefit of using Cloud services, more intense security mechanisms are in place.

    • Managing the data is very efficient in the Cloud cause the data is centralized. 

    • Maintenance is very much easier in cloud computing environment and the organisation need not to worry about the maintenance issue when using cloud services.

    You would be familiar with Dropbox, it is one of the famous storage cloud service provider wherein you can drop your files and documents which will be stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere you want to. SkyDrive is one more service which gives cloud storage to users and is provided by Microsoft. Many more players are coming up that are providing cloud services to users and giving away free storage space to the users initially. In coming times, Cloud will become the most popular service which users will subscribe too. 

    If  you like the article or have any questions regarding Cloud services and Cloud computing than feel free to drop them in the comments below. Subscribe to blog feeds for gett latest updates directly in your email.

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