What is Cloud Computing ?
The terms "cloud computing" and "working in the cloud" refer to performing computer tasks using services delivered entirely over the Internet. Cloud computing is a movement away from applications needing to be installed on an individual's computer towards the applications being hosted online. (The "cloud" refers to the Internet and was inspired by technical flow charts and diagrams, which tend to use a cloud symbol to represent the Internet.)
Cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources
rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Cloud computing is comparable to grid computing, a type of computing where unused processing cycles of all computers in a network are harnesses to solve problems too intensive for any stand-alone machine.
"Here are cloud computing basics for those asking, “What is cloud computing?” Cloud computing is quickly replacing the traditional model of having software applications installed on on-premise hardware, from desktop computers to rooms full of servers, depending on the size of the business. With cloud computing, businesses access applications via the internet. It’s called Software As A Service (or SaaS). Businesses are freed up from having to maintain or upgrade software and hardware. Just log on and get to work, from anywhere and, in many cases, any device. Salesforce is the leader in cloud computing, offering applications for all aspects of your business, including CRM, sales, ERP, customer service, marketing automation, business analytics, mobile application building, and much more. And it all works on the same, connected platform, drawing from the same customer data. So as opposed to working in silos, your entire company can work as one a team. And because it’s all in cloud as opposed to being installed on-premise, even the largest, enterprise-wide deployments can happen in a fraction of the time of traditional deployments, which can take over a year. "
How it Works
Cloud computing applies traditional supercomputing, or high-performance computing power, normally used by military and research facilities, to perform tens of trillions of computations per second. In consumer-oriented applications such as financial portfolios, to deliver personalized information, to provide data storage or to power large, immersive online computer games.
To do this, cloud computing uses networks of large groups of servers typically running low-cost consumer PC technology with specialized connections to spread data-processing chores across them. This shared IT
infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization
techniques are used to maximize the power of cloud computing.
Cloud Computing Benefits
Cloud services free businesses and consumers from having to invest in hardware or install software on their devices.
They reduce maintenance and hardware upgrading needs; because the solutions are all Web-based, even older computers can be used to access cloud services.
For mobile workers especially, cloud computing provides incredible flexibility: professionals can work from any computing device anywhere as long as they have access to the Web. It also makes collaboration easier, since distributed teams (or a combination of mobile workers and in-office staff) can work on shared information stored centrally in the cloud via, for example, online groupware