Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing involves distributing hosted services over the Internet. These services are split into three groups: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service.

Cloud computing can be private or public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet.  A private cloud is a network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people.

One form of cloud computing is Infrastructure as a Service, which provides servers, software, storage and networking equipment as a fully outsourced service.  Providers generally bill services based on the amount of resources consumed.

Platform as a Service is another type of cloud computing, which is identified as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the provider’s infrastructure. Developers construct applications on the provider’s platform over the Internet.

Another kind of cloud computing is Software as a Service, which is when the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal.  Services can be anything from web-based email to inventory control and database processing. Because the service provider hosts both the application and the data, the end user is free to use the cloud computing service from anywhere.