What is "the Cloud?"

Seriously, what is it.  
I gotta tell you, I listen to advertisements and every time I do a deep dive into the details of what the heck they're talking about, I scratch my head and say "The cloud" is a new name for online storage, on-line backups, on-line commerce.  I really see it as vendor doubletalk.
Please correct me if I'm wrong!
Who is Participating?
Giovanni HewardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"The Cloud" purportedly derived from the graphic typically used in network diagrams to identify the Internet.  In a nutshell, it's typically used today to described SPI service models.

SPI is an acronym for the most common cloud computing service models, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a paradigm for delivering operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) involves outsourcing the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components.

At the end of the day, all cloud-based software/hardware is physically located in one or more data centers, which typically feature multiple high-speed redundant connections to the Internet.

The increasing selection of services delivered over the Internet is sometimes referred to as XaaS.

Read more detail here:

cloud computing visual abstract
typical cloud layers
SteveConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The cloud is just another term for "out there" or not on your computer. I think it is a leftover from the old networking diagrams that used to show anything outside your general network as "the cloud" and used a cloud graphic. Now it pretty much means any app, storage, code etc.. that is accessed or used from a pc local to you.

You pretty much had it right, vendor double talk!
AlexiosConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I was thinking of that several months ago when they were all advertise their services... cloud on that and cloud on this

"the cloud" is a "new" word for the INTERNET and as you correctly said it
is a new name for online storage, on-line backups, on-line commerce

In the "old" days (LOL) in Visio, design software which  produces network diagrams with icons, PC's, Switches etc, the icon that described the internet was-is a cloud, like the one in the link http://donkasprzak.com/2008/05/09/jumping-into-the-cloud/

So is just marketing...
Have a nice day
tjc123Connect With a Mentor IT DirectorCommented:
Honestly, the cloud is a marketing gimmick that is basically just servers you access resources on that are hosted elsewhere off premises.  This can be as simple as a rack of equipment in a datacenter in another physical location (down the street) to a geographically clustered datacenter spread across different areas of the world.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.