A little about myself.
I am an IT technician, participate in many projects, some HTML work, and reading a lot. I also contribute articles to IT magazines about Open Source Software as a core member of Japan Apache Users Group. I've been in computer related fields from 1978. starting in college, nuclear physics major, I had to take a class in FORTRAN and that was it, I was hooked on the machines. I started working first as an application programmar at a system development
company. Then moved on to a system integration company, and specializing in data communication, small & mid size systems. I run a small intranet at home, a router, Windows Servers, Windows Desktops and CentOS Linux . The Linux runs DNS, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and POP3 making it nice for software testing and development.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing will redefine computer technology as we know it.

That pretty much sums up what we've heard in the news. But just what is a computing cloud, where did it come from, and how will it affect what we do?

A computing cloud is a massive network of virtualized Internet/intranet servers that can rapidly scale up and down to deliver services in real time.

The term "cloud" first caught on because it fit the description of the Internet as a cyberspace network with no clear boundaries or contours.

Cloud computing is more about the evolution of IT delivery than it is a revolutionary technology. It borrows from just about every networking model you can think of — including time-sharing, grid, utility and software as a service. The definition is still evolving; but, part of what distinguishes the cloud is its ability to grow or shrink computing resources based on workload demand, without exposing complexity to the consumer.

How clouds work for you
Cloud computing can be used in many different ways, from optimizing IT delivery within an enterprise to delivering the IT for an entire enterprise through a third party provider. In both cases, the cloud model speeds up IT delivery and reduces operation costs without requiring a company to re-engineer its infrastructure.

As a cloud consumer, your applications and data would typically reside in a public cloud on the Internet or in a private cloud on an intranet behind a firewall — rather than on a local server or personal computer.

Clouds support data types and mobile devices from every industry across the globe. Whether you're using a laptop computer or a hand-held device, you would have access to computing resources from any Internet/intranet connection anytime you want it.

Finally, you would never have to worry about how it all works. This represents the fundamental underpinning of the cloud model: complex on the inside, but simple on the outside.

More than the sum of its parts
Cloud computing is built on the heads and shoulders of many other technologies. That's why it's often confused for other things. For example, virtualization is key to cloud computing, but not all virtualized servers are cloud servers. So what distinguishes cloud computing? The answer is "more."

* More than network computing.
Computing clouds are networked computers, but the latest advances in digital and broadband high-speed connectivity have led to possibilities that simply did not exist 10 or even five years ago.

* More than just time sharing.
 In the 70s, time sharing was unaffordable even for large corporations. Today, inexpensive hardware, open standards, resource scaling, provisioning and huge advances in broadband access have helped to bring down the time sharing costs. And byte-for-byte, time sharing runs more efficiently in data clouds than on desktop machines.

* More than a grid.
In traditional grid environments, the work is assigned to the computing resource and completed by applications that must conform to the grid interface. The cloud environment is much more fluid. The underlying infrastructure can adjust quickly to change, and unlike grids, clouds excel at handling a large variety of tasks in parallel. Clouds can also run non-grid environments, such as three-tier Web architectures.

* More than a utility.
Utility computing is a delivery model for hardware and/or software IT resources. Cloud computing is a systems architecture that incorporates the entire computing stack, from software to hardware, and can dynamically grow, shrink and self-heal. While cloud computing can be metered like a utility, not all forms of utility computing can function as clouds.

* More than just software as a service (SaaS).
Cloud computing uses the Internet/intranet to provide access to technology-enabled services — a bigger picture than SaaS by itself. The cloud "picture" includes thousands of servers and storage networks as well as the software applications.

The coming together of advanced networking technologies with the proliferation of cheap mobile devices and the dramatic growth of the Internet has created the foundation for affordable, efficient computing that complements the way we work and live.

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