Cloud computing is a kind of Internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. It relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network.
Now that most businesses are in the Cloud in at least some capacity, such as for email or cloud backup, services are being developed for cloud performance and monitoring as well as security. The cloud is being targetted more often by attackers as the data is often as valuable as anything kept on systems that would not have historically been connected to the Internet. Security systems with multi factor authentictkon are often paired with tradtional passwords to strengthen system security and avoid obvious passwords leading to systems becoming compormised. Machine learning systems are sifting and indexing information on our behalf inside of the cloud in the same way the serach engine spiders do. The cloud has become the obvious place to store financial accounts information, email and file systems for even the largest companies.
'Clouds' were a term originally attributed to MPLS networks or 'Clouds' when the details of connectivity was not known to the end user and routers were still rather a black art. Early applications for drawing network schematics often surrounded the icons for servers with a circle, and a cluster of servers in a network diagram had several overlapping circles, which resembled a cloud. In analogy to the above usage, the word cloud was used as a metaphor for the Internet and a standardized cloud-like shape was used to denote a network on telephony schematics. Later it was used to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams. With this simplification, the implication is that the specifics of how the end points of a network are connected are not relevant for the purposes of understanding the diagram. The cloud symbol was used to represent networks of computing equipment in the original ARPANET which was the basis for the modern Internet network.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) refers to on-line services that abstract the user from the details of infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. To deploy their applications, cloud users install operating-system images and their application software on the cloud infrastructure. In this model, the cloud user patches and maintains the operating systems and the application software. Cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility computing basis: cost reflects the amount of resources allocated and consumed.
PaaS vendors offer a development environment to application developers. The provider typically develops toolkit and standards for development and channels for distribution and payment. In the PaaS models, cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server. Application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. With some PaaS offers like Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine, the underlying computer and storage resources scale automatically to match application demand so that the cloud user does not have to allocate resources manually. The latter has also been proposed by an architecture aiming to facilitate real-time in cloud environments.
In the software as a service (SaaS) model, users gain access to application software and databases. Cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms that run the applications. SaaS is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software" and is usually priced on a pay-per-use basis or using a subscription fee. In the SaaS model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. Cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform where the application runs. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user's own computers, which simplifies maintenance and support.
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