Today and for many years computing has been performed in resident.  In other words, the functions and calculations have been performed on a desktop computer, a laptop, a CPU in a computer room or a Mainframe Computer in a facility where other PC’s etc. were connected for processing.

However, prior to the individual PC’s, many companies operated in an environment called “on-line”.  This meant that the hosting computer doing the processing was in one location and the devices which entered the data and requests were in another location.  These computing devices ran through a telephone line and communicated in this manner.  Of course since this was many years ago (30 or 35), technology and knowledge growth has been exponential.  We have super-fast computers and are transmitting via satellite at speeds that really are not fathomable.

Cloud computing is a term that involves the delivery of computing services over the internet.  It typically involves through different types of Services:  1) IaaS- Infrastructure as a Service 2) SaaS – Software as a Service and 3) PaaS – Platform as a Service.

Cloud Computing can be private or public.  Some companies have proprietary networks and data centers that supply computing services to a select number of people.  This is a Private Cloud.  Some companies are in the business of providing Cloud Services to other companies; these are Public Clouds.  Sometimes a company will contract with a Public Cloud company to provide a Private Cloud for their company.  When this transpires it is called a Virtual Private Cloud.

Infrastructure as a Service is a provisioning company whom provides Virtual Server Instance to start, stop, access and configure their virtual servers and storage.  This allows companies to pay for only as much capacity as is needed and the flexibility to bring more online as needed.  This is a form of pay as you grow or only for what you use.

Other companies are in the business of providing Cloud Services to other companies; these are Public Clouds.” “Software as a Service is where a vendor supplies the hardware (Servers, Desktops, PC’s etc.). Their software operates through a portal with these devices and the user.  The Vendor or Service provider hosts at their location the actual software, the processing equipment and all the data.  This enables the customer of that vendor to use the services from any location.

Platform as a Service equates to a defined set of Software and product development tools hosted on the provisioning company’s infrastructure.  The customer/developers design and create applications on the providers’ platform via the internet.  PaaS can use Website Portals, API’s or gateway Software installed in the customers computer.

The Goal of Cloud Computing is to provide scalable access to IT Services in an easy and efficient manner.  Typically Cloud Computing is sold on demand by the hour and is variable.  The customer can have as much or as little of a service as they are willing to pay for.  These services are typically all managed by the provider; therefore service level agreements are typically in order.