Cloud computing refers to the use of remote servers over the internet (instead of via local servers or devices) for the purpose of sharing resources. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
There are several advantages to cloud computing, including ease of use and upgrades, low capital expenditure, remote access capabilities from several locations, higher security/better data recovery, and optimized use of resources.
Cloud computing servers offer three models: software as a service, or SaaS (use of Internet-based applications through web browsers); platform as a service, or PaaS (use of cloud platforms that can be used to develop applications); and infrastructure as a service, or IaaS (use of remote infrastructure to create platforms and applications).
Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet. The use of cloud computing can increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software.
Just a few examples of cloud services are:
· Google Docs