Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is cloud computing bring out its essential features and list advantages and limitations – Civil service mains exam 2010


Cloud Computing is a general term used for computing that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. The name cloud derived from cloud symbol that we use in flowcharts to represent Internet. Cloud Computing provides three types of services are

1. SaaS (Software as a Service) - Here the service providers host applications like spreadsheets, Documents etc. over a network i.e. Internet and are available to their customers at any time. 

2. PaaS (Platform as a Service) - The service provider rents the platform/software such as operating system , virtualized servers , Hardware to their customers and Paas allows customers to upgrade their platforms according to their wish.

3. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service or Hardware as a service) - An organization or service provider outsources Hardware, networking devices, servers, storage etc. to their client or customer and charged as pay per minute or hour for using their services. ex. Amazon web services.

  • Reduces overall cost and increase efficiencies, especially when replacing an organization’s locally operated on-premise servers.
  • cloud computing has the potential to reduce a company's energy use and carbon emissions by at least 30% per user compared to an average on-premise installation of those applications.
  • Dynamic Provisioning: over-provisioning of servers at the cloud's operational scale can be very expensive. Cloud operators can quickly matching server capacity to demand shifts.
  • Multi-Tenancy: service providers are able to serve millions of users at thousands of companies simultaneously on one massive shared infrastructure.
  • Server Utilization: Cloud computing can drive energy savings by improving server utilization, which is the measurement of the portion of a server's capacity that an application actively uses.
  • Data center Efficiency: the way facilities are physically constructed, equipped with IT and supporting infrastructure, and managed has a major impact on the energy use for a given amount of computing power.
  • Ease of operations: A marketing manager or sales manager can update their database from anywhere, immediately keep their database up to date.

  • The biggest challenge for cloud computing is security as every operations are carried out online there may be high risk of malicious programs, hackers, phishing attacks etc..
  • It requires high speed internet/network connection as all the operations and transactions carried out over internet/internet.
  • Confidentiality of data is not assured as it is maintained by third party service provider.

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