Sunday, 26 October 2008

Cloud Conditions - What is Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing

The Internet is a network of networks and the phrase “Cloud Computing” comes from internet diagrams that use a cloud symbol to hide the complexity of the way networks are connected. My network is connected to your network somehow through the “cloud” – I don’t need to know the details of how this happens, I only need to know how to connect to my internet service provider.

If you use a webmail system (e.g. Googlemail, Hotmail) then you already have some experience of cloud computing.

Many older email systems operated as client – server. The client was an email program that you needed to install on your computer and servers provided a system for email clients to send and receive email messages between each other. Messages were downloaded and stored on the client computers. This meant that messages stored on one computer wouldn’t be available to you on another computer.

Webmail combines the application, storage and communications aspects of email into one service available from any computer with a web browser and an Internet connection. Webmail provides a good familiar example of what cloud computing is all about – application, storage and communications services operating in the Internet and accessed through a web browser.

Webmail has been around for ages now but the development of new web programming technologies in recent years has allowed the advantages of cloud computing to be applied to most areas of computing - hence the explosion of new applications – here are a few examples of cloud computing:

Social networking – Myspace, Facebook, Bebo  etc

Web2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, Blogger, Twitter, Wikipedia  etc

Applications – Googledocs, Zoho etc

For more information about Cloud Computing have a look at the links below

My Cloud links

BBC - general article on Cloud Computing

Observer article on the economics and business change of cloud computing 

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