The definition from Wikipedia is that “cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet”. Cloud computing offers services such as applications (word processing, spreadsheets, CRM, etc) and virtual data centre facilities with the main advantage of lower pricing. The “backbone” of cloud computing is based on virtualization technology and this is the reason that these services have lower costs than purchasing your own hardware or software.
Nowadays, everybody uses cloud computing resources, even though most of us do not know it. Cloud computing is a new term, not only for IT professionals but for all of us since with one way or another everybody uses computers and this term is everywhere. This term corresponds to a new style of computing that resources are provided as a service through Internet. Using these services, users do not need to have any knowledge, expertise or control in regards with the “cloud” that supports them.
However, often, “cloud” services are provided by virtualized resources. Computing power has become so cheap nowadays that you have the ability to take things that exist physically as hardware and turn them into software. Using this technology, companies have the advantage of having “more with less”. For example, a small company that has five servers, it is able to virtualize all of them using only the hardware of one server. This technology corresponds to huge advantages such as less space, less power costs, less cooling costs and better manageability.
Eric Schmidt, current CEO of Google said in 1993 that when the network becomes faster than the processor, the computer hollows out and spreads through the network. Basically, this is the logic behind cloud computing and this is how Internet is becoming now. All the users are sharing a virtual computer through Internet and
everybody can tap into it and use it with much less cost than before.
Nevertheless, I do not believe that companies have realized the great advantages that might have using this technology and this is one of the reasons that cloud computing is not widely used yet. Companies that use cloud computing and virtualization currently, are considered technologically advanced even though virtualization also simplifies the data centre of an organization.
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