Cloud Computing is emerging today as a commercial infrastructure that eliminates the need for maintaining expensive computing hardware. Through the use of virtualization, clouds promise to address with the same shared set of physical resources a large user base with different needs. Thus, clouds promise to be for scientists an alternative to clusters, grids, and supercomputers.Cloud computing proposes an alternative in which resources are no longer hosted by the researcher ‘s computational facilities, but leased from big data centers only when needed. Despite the existence of several cloud computing vendors, such as Amazon and Go-Grid, the potential of clouds remains largely unexplored.  The cloud computing paradigm holds good promise for the performance hungry scientific community. Clouds promise to be a cheap alternative to supercomputers and specialized clusters, a much more reliable platform than grids, and a much more scalable platform than the largest of commodity clusters or resource pools.

Basically, Cloud computing is a form of sharing mechanism where one can access or store data in remote servers without actually having to physically approach it. It generates a shared pool of configurable computing resources which can be rapidly used or changed with minimal effort. It is basically a thing which, for instance, helps you store a 2.6 GB movie for future use on a server while sipping a beverage on your couch. It is the real deal! It can accommodate your files in servers which are miles away, the files which would otherwise use up a lot of storage space.

Cloud Computing, the long-held dream of computing as a utility, has the potential to transform a large part of the IT industry, making the software even more attractive as a service and shaping the way IT hardware is designed and purchased. Developers with innovative ideas for new Internet services no longer require the large capital outlays in hardware to deploy their service or the human expense to operate it. They need not be concerned about overprovisioning for a service whose popularity does not meet their predictions, thus wasting costly resources, or under-provisioning for one that becomes wildly popular, thus missing potential customers and revenue. Moreover, companies with large batch-oriented tasks can get results as quickly as their programs can scale, since using 1000 servers for one-hour costs no more than using one server for 1000 hours. This elasticity of resources, without paying a premium for large scale, is unprecedented in the history of IT. Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and

With the significant advances in Information and Communications Technology over the last half-century, there is an increasingly perceived vision that computing will one day be the 5th utility (after water, electricity, gas, and telephony). This computing utility, like all other four existing utilities, will provide the basic level of computing service that is considered essential to meet the everyday needs of the general community.

Cloud computing has a large number of applications in today’s world. It is on a steady rise since its introduction in 2006 by the then Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Thanks to benefits like high computing power, cheap cost, high performance, and scalability, it has been making things easy for both IT professionals and casual users. I’m certain it will continue to do in the future too.


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