What is Cloud Computing? How can it is useful to normal pc user?

sridharnallamothu used Ask the Experts™
I would like to know the usage and benefits of end users with cloud computing technology. I heared terms like Cloud OS, Cloud hosting plan, Cloud Antivirus etc.. How they work and what are the advantages of them from regular OS, hosting plans etc..

Thank you in advance..
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Mr. Piyush Soni, Thank you for your fast response. I already read Wikipedia Article about Cloud Computing before asking here. It is little bit confusing for me. I expected an plain explanation from our experts.

Thank you..
IT Solutions Developer
Cloud computing is simply your stuff on someone else's computer.

Take GMail for example (Google's email service).  When you use gmail, you are using the "cloud" to store your information instead of storing it locally on your own computer.  The benefit to this is you can go to any computer anywhere in the world (that has internet access) and get your emails.

If you received your email on your own computer (like Outlook) then you would not easily be able to get your emails when you were somewhere else.

You can store all your "stuff" on someone else's computer that is accessible by any internet connected computer anywhere.

Now there are also offerrings to work "in the cloud" by being able to access Microsoft (and Microsoft type) programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.

Again, nothing more than using someone else's computer to do what you want to do.

That being said there is a big concern about the security of your data and information since it will be stored on someone else's computer and I personally do not trust it and therefore do not use it.

Hope that helps.
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zeshanazizSystem Administrator


Simple examples of cloud computing

Most of us use cloud computing all day long without realizing it. When you sit at your PC and type a query into Google, the computer on your desk isn't playing much part in finding the answers you need: it's no more than a messenger. The words you type are swiftly shuttled over the Net to one of Google's hundreds of thousands of clustered PCs, which dig out your results and send them promptly back to you. When you do a Google search, the real work in finding your answers might be done by a computer sitting in California, Dublin, Tokyo, or Beijing; you don't know—and most likely you don't care!

The same applies to Web-based email. Once upon a time, email was something you could only send and receive using a program running on your PC (sometimes called a mail client). But then Web-based services such as Hotmail came along and carried email off into the cloud. Now we're all used to the idea that emails can be stored and processed through a server in some remote part of the world, easily accessible from a Web browser, wherever we happen to be. Pushing email off into the cloud makes it supremely convenient for busy people, constantly on the move.

Preparing documents over the Net is a newer example of cloud computing. Simply log on to a web-based service such as Google Documents and you can create a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or whatever you like using Web-based software. Instead of typing your words into a program like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, running on your computer, you're using similar software running on a PC at one of Google's world-wide data centers. Like an email drafted on Hotmail, the document you produce is stored remotely, on a Web server, so you can access it from any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world, any time you like. Using a Web-based service like this means you're "contracting out" or "outsourcing" some of your computing needs to a company such as Google: they pay the cost of developing the software and keeping it up-to-date and they earn back the money to do this through advertising and other paid-for services.

What makes cloud computing different?

It's managed

Most importantly, the service you use is provided by someone else and managed on your behalf. If you're using Google Documents, you don't have to worry about buying umpteen licenses for word-processing software or keeping them up-to-date. Nor do you have to worry about viruses that might affect your computer or about backing up the files you create. Google does all that for you. One basic principle of cloud computing is that you no longer need to worry how the service you're buying is provided: with Web-based services, you simply concentrate on whatever your job is and leave the problem of providing dependable computing to someone else.

It's "on-demand"

Cloud services are available on-demand and often bought on a "pay-as-you go" or subscription basis. So you typically buy cloud computing the same way you'd buy electricity, telephone services, or Internet access from a utility company. Sometimes cloud computing is free or paid-for in other ways (Hotmail is subsidized by advertising, for example). Just like electricity, you can buy as much or as little of a cloud computing service as you need from one day to the next. That's great if your needs vary unpredictably: it means you don't have to buy your own gigantic computer system and risk have it sitting there doing nothing.

It's public or private

Now we all have PCs on our desks, we're used to having complete control over our computer systems—and complete responsibility for them as well. Cloud computing changes all that. It comes in two basic flavors, public and private, which are the cloud equivalents of the Internet and Intranets. Web-based email and free services like the ones Google provides are the most familiar examples of public clouds. The world's biggest online retailer, Amazon, became the world's largest provider of public cloud computing in early 2006. When it found it was using only a fraction of its huge, global, computing power, it started renting out its spare capacity over the Net through a new entity called Amazon Web Services. Private cloud computing works in much the same way but you access the resources you use through secure network connections, much like an Intranet. Companies such as Amazon also let you use their publicly accessible cloud to make your own secure private cloud, known as a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), using virtual private network (VPN) connections.
Yes, my fast response was only to tell you that you can always read stuff on the internet for such stuff. If not wikipedia, some other resources. The web is full of it.

Also, the one you have accepted as a solution finally, it's not right. He doesn't know about what he's talking. "Cloud computing is simply your stuff on someone else's computer" - is just plain wrong. (and the following description too, for that matter)

Of course, I could have given long answer had I wanted points - but trying to be fair, if at all you are accepting solution - accept the one given by srinuboy who knows what he's talking about and explaining.

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