What is Cloud Computing

Everyone has an opinion on what is cloud computing. It can be the ability to rent a server or a thousand servers and run a geophysical modeling application on the most powerful systems available anywhere. It can be the ability to rent a virtual server, load software on it, turn it on and off at will, or clone it ten times to meet a sudden workload demand. It can be storing and securing immense amounts of data that is accessible only by authorized applications and users. It can be supported by a cloud provider that sets up a platform that includes the OS, Apache, a MySQL™ database, Perl, Python, and PHP with the ability to scale automatically in response to changing workloads. Cloud computing can be the ability to use applications on the Internet that store and protect data while providing a service — anything including email, sales force automation and tax preparation. It can be using a storage cloud to hold application, business, and personal data. And it can be the ability to use a handful of Web services to integrate photos, maps, and GPS information to create a mashup in customer Web browsers.

Sun’s perspective
Sun takes an inclusive view that there are many different types of clouds, and many different applications that can be built using them. To the extent that cloud computing helps to increase the velocity at which applications are deployed, helping to increase the pace of innovation, cloud computing may yet take forms that we still cannot imagine today. What remains constant, however, is that Sun is an experienced provider of server, storage, networking, and software technology that is ready to support cloud computing. As the company that coined the phrase “The Network is the Computer™,” we believe that cloud computing is the next generation of network computing.

What distinguishes cloud computing from previous models? Boiled down to a phrase, it’s using information technology as a service over the network. We define it as services that are encapsulated, have an API, and are available over the network. This definition encompasses using both compute and storage resources as services. Cloud computing is based on the principle of efficiency above all — efficiency that produces high-level tools for handling 80% of use cases so that applications can be created and deployed at an astonishing rate.

Cloud computing can be provided using an enterprise datacenter’s own servers, or it can be provided by a cloud provider that takes all of the capital risk of owning the infrastructure. The illusion is that resources are infinite. While the field is in its infancy, the model is taking the information technology (IT) world by storm. The predominant model for cloud computing today is called infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, and because of its prominence, the IaaS model is the focus of the first edition of this white paper.

Source of Information : Introduction to Cloud Computing architecture White Paper 1st Edition, June 2009


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