With Cloud Computing, users have been able to access data, share expertise and high-end infrastructure from around the world, and vice-versa. The resources are shared through a public platform like the internet. Several companies like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, etc have invested heavily as they reach out to users.
- Infrastructure-as-a-service: Option of renting and utilizing computing power and storage capacity of vendor’s quality.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Vendors license particular services to subscribers on-demand and once the contract expires, the services are disabled.
- Platform-as-a-Service: Here a developer is given the opportunity to utilize various web-tools to build and host applications.
The Cloud (other computers in the network) does have its pros and cons in this formative stage. Its advantages include,
- Better performance by PCs in the cloud network, as fewer processing will be loading in each individual PC, the rest on the Cloud.
- No more spending on computer upgrades, instead services of another high-power PC can be made use of.
- Lesser hardware and software required, so costs of maintenance are tremendously lowered.
- Permanence of data, as all information stays in the cloud, even if you experience a hard-disk crash.
- Sync with experts worldwide on multiple projects and avail optimum results through the Cloud.
- Work from any PC and on the move, with the availability of internet access.
Cloud Computing also has some drawbacks like,
- The over-dependence on the providers.
- The reliability of the vendors.
- Protection laws in different countries vary. For eg, according to EU data protection regulation, personal information cannot be transferred outside the European Economic Area.
- Threat of unauthorized access to confidential data.
- Requires internet throughout and near-impossible to work with dial-up connections.
The concept isn’t entirely new and is evolving even today. In the recent past, several variations have been introduced through ‘Grid’ and ‘Utility Computing’.
- Grid Computing is a virtual super-computer formed by a cluster of computers in concert, each performing complex tasks.
- Utility Computing is a format in which subscribers are charged based on their usage, similar to the way in electricity is charged.
As new developments take place with increasing frequency, your world is on the brink of transition.