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Definition:Cloud computing is a better way to run the business. Instead of running your apps yourself, they run on a shared data center. The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to 1960, when John McCarthy opined that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility"; indeed it shares characteristics with service bureaus that date back to the 1960s.The actual term "cloud" borrows from telephony in that telecommunications companies, who until the 1990s primarily offered dedicated point-to-point data circuits, began offering VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN) services with comparable quality of service but at a much lower cost. The cloud symbol was used to denote the demarcation point between that which was the responsibility of the provider from that of the user. Cloud computing extends this boundary to cover servers as well as the network infrastructure. Cost is claimed to be greatly reduced and capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure. Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they are using. Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

The characteristics often associated with cloud computing are as follows: On-demand self-service by consumers Broad access via the network Resource pooling of physical and virtual resources Rapid scaling of capacity Enhanced transparency of usage via metrics.

Problems of cloud computing

Some of the problem which is faced by the Cloud computing, 1. Data Integrity 2. Data Theft 3. Privacy issues 4. Infected Application 5. Data loss 6. Data Location 7. Security on Vendor level 8. Security on user level

Application of Cloud Computing through Service Models

Cloud computing providers offer their services according to three fundamental models: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) Where IaaS is the most basic and each higher model abstracts from the details of the lower models.

Many open source applications are now available on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis. Cloud computing applications are accessed via a browser so they tend to be multiplatform and enable more workforce mobility. Open source developers are contributing to the growth of cloud computing by creating the tools that make cloud computing feasible.

A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email, Gmail, or Hotmail etc. You dont need a software or a server to use them. All a consumer would need is just an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud ( internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo , Google etc.

Finally, cloud apps dont eat up your valuable IT resources. This lets you focus on deploying more apps, new projects, and innovation. Cloud computing is a simple idea, but it can have a huge impact on your business. Cloud computing can provide a lot of benefits to small businesses, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Keeping track of cloud computing trends, white papers and research gives small businesses knowledge and a solid foundation to get the most value from cloud services