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what is cloud?

Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. Cloud computing enables companies to consume computing resources as a utility -- just like electricity -- rather than having to build and maintain computing infrastructures in-house.


Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer 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., computer 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 that may be located far from the user-ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.


arrow Public cloud

Public clouds are owned and operated by companies that offer rapid access over a public network to affordable computing resources. With public cloud services, users don't need to purchase hardware, software, or supporting infrastructure, which is owned and managed by providers.


Key aspects of public cloud
  • Innovative SaaS business apps for applications ranging from customer resource management (CRM) to transaction management and data analytics
  • Flexible, scalable IaaS for storage and compute services on a moment's notice
  • Powerful PaaS for cloud-based application development and deployment environments

arrow Private cloud

A private cloud is infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third party, and hosted either internally or externally. Private clouds can take advantage of cloud's efficiencies, while providing more control of resources and steering clear of multi-tenancy.


Key aspects of private cloud
  • A self-service interface controls services, allowing IT staff to quickly provision, allocate, and deliver on-demand IT resources
  • Highly automated management of resource pools for everything from compute capability to storage, analytics, and middleware
  • Sophisticated security and governance designed for a company's specific requirements
arrow Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud uses a private cloud foundation combined with the strategic integration and use of public cloud services. The reality is a private cloud can't exist in isolation from the rest of a company's IT resources and the public cloud. Most companies with private clouds will evolve to manage workloads across data centers, private clouds, and public clouds-thereby creating hybrid clouds.


Key aspects of hybrid cloud
  • Allows companies to keep the critical applications and sensitive data in a traditional data center environment or private cloud
  • Enables taking advantage of public cloud resources like SaaS, for the latest applications, and IaaS, for elastic virtual resources
  • Facilitates portability of data, apps and services and more choices for deployment models

arrow Common Cloud Examples

The lines between local computing and cloud computing sometimes get very, very blurry. That's because the cloud is part of almost everything on our computers these days. You can easily have a local piece of software (for instance, Microsoft Office 365) that utilizes a form of cloud computing for storage (Microsoft OneDrive).