Cloud Computing Definition Image

Cloud Computing Definition

An explanation of cloud computing in simple terms.

Cloud computing is the use of the Internet to access applications on a monthly pay-as-you-go plan. The "Cloud" is the typical depiction for the Internet in technical diagrams. The "Computing" is on-demand access to application escaping the cost and burden of implementing and maintaining on-premise hardware and software.

When an organization subscribes to cloud computing, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides services to move data and applications to a software manufacturer online service and supports both cloud service and customer premise network. Cloud computing subscriptions are provided according to the terms of a Service-Level Agreement (SLA), along with direct monthly billing. This approach is often referenced as a "public cloud".

A common myth is that some organizations enjoy the same benefits with a "private cloud", using the Internet in conjunction with physical or virtual servers and purchased rack space in a data center. A private cloud:

  • Is not provided by the manufacturer, but rather third-parties.
  • Does not escpate the cost of hardware and software maintenance or upgrades.
  • Cannot match the infrastructure, security, or competency of major manufacturers.
  • Lacks the ability to offer the latest technology at the speed and lowered cost of major manufactures.

Software manufacturers offer cloud computing with multiple geo-dispersed data centers, better security and reliability, and less cost than on-premise or hosted rack solutions. Cloud computing is a strategic business solution to lower cost and improve business. Organizations using cloud computing have clear competitive advantage by escaping planned obsolecence, disruptive upgrades, and large capital expenses.

Common Features

  • E-mail
  • SPAM filtering
  • Instant messaging
  • Data Storage
  • Online applications
  • Virtual servers
  • Workflow
  • Support portal
  • Health dashboard
  • Compliance
  • 99.9% uptime
  • Service Level Agreemnt (SLA)