Cloud Computing is when the software and hardware you use are not located on your desktop or your company’s network, but rather, accessed via internet as a service. If you use Hotmail, Yahoo email or Gmail for your personal email, you’ve been using the cloud to send and store emails. Many businesses use cloud computing because it’s a service that is managed by someone else taking the burden off their plate. These services are often provided through a subscription model, “pay as you go”, making service easily scalable.
Common types of cloud computing include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Access hardware via Internet. An example of this is storage, such as Apple storage on your phone for $1.39 per month.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Access software via Internet. An example is Microsoft online, which doesn’t require you to download the program onto your computer. You can now use Microsoft Word over the Internet!
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): As the name implies, these are platforms that are accessed through the internet. For example, you can have an ecommerce website but the shopping cart, checkout, and payment mechanism are running on a merchant’s server. Force.com (Salesforce) and the Google App Engine are examples of PaaS.