In 2011, the buzzword was cloud computing, or the “cloud.” Although the name in not as prominently mentioned as it was before, cloud technology is here to stay. The dependence on cloud computing and storage will continue to grow, as the demand for high resolution games and vides, which are to be played on smaller and smaller devices, increases. However, many people have used the term without knowing what it truly means. As you upload your apps and video to a cloud storage facility, take a look at what the concept really means.

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Meaning of the “Cloud”
The “cloud” is a metaphor used to describe the large data networks that work together in the system. These networks are at separate (often widely separated) geographic locations and joined via the internet. The name does not in any way suggest that the technology has anything to do with the stratosphere, and you can access cloud facilities even when there is a bad storm brewing.

The metaphor is simply used to imply the vastness of the technology. The network is composed of systems that you cannot access physically due to their geographical positioning. The cluster of server, fiber-optic cables, technicians and other personnel may be far away, but you can interact with them over the internet as if they were in your office building. You can compare cloud computing with the electricity grid, which serves many houses at the same time. Families, some of whom have never been to a power plant, are able to connect to the grid on their own and benefit from the massive shred network, which brings them a service that they need.

Types of Cloud Computing Services
One cannot fully grasp the magnitude of data networks that come together to compose cloud computing. The services are vast and varied but can be categorized into three. These are the categories that are popularly used by consumers and businesses.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the basic or foundation of cloud computing. It is said to be the base layer and includes the physical infrastructure, such as storage disks, servers and facilities. In this category, consumers and businesses receive pay-as-you-go, pay-on-demand storage and web hosting. The beauty of cloud computing is that the services can be scaled according to the fluctuation of the demand.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This is the intermediate or middle layer of cloud computing. This layer provides the operating system from which several applications are run. Here, programming language and web servers are provided by the service operator. This allows application developers to create and run the software solutions.

Software as a Service (SaaS)
This is the top layer of the cloud and where you find applications that are developed specifically for use on the Internet. This is where consumers access their services. The payment for these services is based on a monthly or yearly timeframe. Consumers get to use certain software for a price over the given time, as opposed to buying software for your computer at home or office, which you can use indefinitely.

This has become very popular with organizations since the services are charged on a per-user basis. This means that the organization adjusts their costs, platform and infrastructure whenever they have to add or remove users. This allows the organization to make rapid and efficient adjustments in their staffing. Some of the software solutions that people and organizations use on the cloud are SalesForce, Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and many others.

This is the structure of cloud computing. Now, whenever you access your mail on Gmail, you will know that you are using the cloud!

This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a regular contributor here at INFOtainment News! He writes this on behalf of NCC Data, your number one choice when looking for the best IT Management service in Dallas, TX. Check out their website and see how they can help you and your company!

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