The growth of cloud services options means that end users can utilize and consume computer resources as a utility, much like electricity or water, without having to buy and maintain the infrastructure. This technology has expanded into the private sector as well giving individuals the opportunity to do much more in terms of home computing than ever before. In addition to the economic benefit of only paying for what is used, businesses and consumers can customize their applications to meet changing needs and access them on demand. |
The concept of cloud services, or cloud computing, dates back to the 1950s. Universities, corporations, and similar institutions had large mainframe units that were accessed by individual terminals to perform various basic computing functions. These different units could only communicate with the central computer and had no processing capability of their own.
By the 1970s, larger corporations had developed a methodology to allow multiple users to access the mainframe at the same time. This practice of time-sharing, known as remote job entry was more cost effective but still required the purchase of the hardware and maintenance by a dedicated group of IT professionals.
Telecommunications providers in the late 20th century began developing VPNs, or virtual private networks, to meet the rapidly rising increase in user traffic. Being able to allocate resources on demand enabled greater use of bandwidth at lower costs to their customers. Many carriers used the symbol to identify what the customer was responsible for and what the company's financial responsibility was.
By 2000, computing in the virtual landscape became a standard practice. Major corporations began to shift from owning their hardware and software to business models that accented per-use and shared resource approaches to computing scenarios. Amazon.com brought the term into the public eye in 2006 with the introduction of the "Elastic Compute Cloud".
There are three basic models that providers can offer to take advantage of this new virtual computing world:
- SaaS: Software is distributed by the vendor to customers, through a network, over the Internet. Email applications, social media, and other pay-for-use subscription programs are the most common and best known of this type of application. - PaaS: This version involves the delivery of operating systems and supporting programming via the Internet without needing installation or subsequent downloads. - IaaS: Actual infrastructure hardware, such as servers or storage, is outsourced to clients and accessible via a dedicated network. These three designs combined are known as the SPI model.
Types Of Cloud Services
The ability to use this dynamic new approach to computing can be divided into three areas:
- Public: Here, usage is sold on demand to the general consumer by a third party provider. The cost is time-based with clients only paying for the actual resources that they use. - Private: Directed by a company's data center, computing processes are only accessible by internal users. This service is commonly described as an "intranet." In addition to being cost effective, CFO and other financial officers can get a better understanding of costs related to the management and storage of data throughout the operation. - Hybrid: Companies can access information outside of their proprietary networks in coordination with internal functions to take advantage of external applications while maintaining internal security by combining both the public and private designs.
The virtualization of computing promises continued expansion of these products. Providers have been experiencing as much as 50% growth as the move continues from the physical realm to the virtual dimension of computer operation.
When considering cloud services, Baltimore, MD residents visit LiteCloud. Learn more about them at http://www.litecloudhosting.com/.
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