Cloud computing

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Cloud computing is a computing model which allows the hosting of internet resources from a third party's datacenter. Rather that purchasing, maintaining, and monitoring their own servers, individuals and organizations can pay for hosting, infrastructure, platforms, and even security under the "everything as a service" model.[1][2] Not only does this eliminate the costs and labor of maintaining one's own servers, but it also can essentially make the entire client-server model obsolete for its users. Even local workstations can be reduced to little more that terminals, which only need to run the cloud computing system's interface software. In this case, all processing and storage in handled off-site, by "cloud" servers at some other location, rather than on each device's hardware. Cloud computing is very often used for hosting websites and other internet services for external users. For example, E-mail service from websites such as Outlook, Yahoo, or Gmail are offered from the cloud.[3]

Advantages

  • Cloud computing can offer extensive resources to users who need them, even though the user is connecting with the same device as everyone else
  • Provisioning cloud computing is usually quite simple, and can generally be done using an automated system over the internet[1][4]
  • Service can be scaled up or down as resource needs change[1][4]
  • Clients can access their data and applications from anywhere internet service is available[5]
  • No physical space, electric, and network requirements for local facilities[5]
  • In many cases, service is metered, so customers only pay for what they use[1]
  • Cloud computing providers are generally experts in their field, and can provide a great deal of skill to all customers, including those who may have little of their own

Disadvantages

  • Clients must have Internet access to use cloud resources
  • Security and some other configuration options are often managed by the provider, rather than the subscriber[6]
  • Public cloud instances often end up being misconfigured by customers or users, putting the data therein at risk of compromise
  • With no localization of resources, private information can typically be accessed from anywhere, potentially putting privacy at risk[6]

References