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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cloud Computing.

What exactly is Cloud computing?

At its most basic level, cloud computing is a model for remote computer access. The idea is simple: You use your computer and an Internet connection to make contact with a remote server. This server, which is really just a computer, runs applications using its hardware. You're able to influence the application by executing commands through a Web browser or other user interface. But the remote server is doing all the heavy lifting.

Why would you want to use a cloud computing system? One reason is that it lets you access applications your own computer might not be able to execute. Your computer only has to run a Web browser or simple user interface. In most cloud computing applications, this client-side program places minimal demands on your machine's resources. That means you can take advantage of a variety of programs and services without having to continually invest in the fastest computers. Since the cloud computing service is handling all the processor work, you just need a machine capable of connecting to the Internet.

Another major selling point for cloud computing services is that they allow you to access your data on a variety of devices no matter where you are. If you rely on your own computer to execute programs, you're limited to that machine unless you make special arrangements. You may have to e-mail a file to yourself so that you can access it on another device. You may have to set up a home network to allow file transfers between machines. And there's the risk that you'll duplicate the file in the process, which can be confusing further down the road -- which file is the real one? Cloud computing services store your information on remote servers. You can log into the cloud computing service using your account login and password. You don't have to use the same computer or device each time.

There's a good chance you've already used some form of cloud computing. If you have an e-mail account with a Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, then you've had some experience with cloud computing. Instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you log in to a Web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account doesn't exist on your computer -- it's on the service's computer cloud.

{Posted as Part of a School Project..}