Cloud Computing- An Introduction by Luke Lonergan

cloud computingCloud computing is a subject that many people find confusing. But as per Luke Lonergan, it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In reality, most of those who claim not to understand the topic are part of the majority that uses it daily. It is one of the hottest technical topics today, with broad-ranging effects across Information Architecture, IT, Business, Data Storage and Software Engineering. This is an introductory article about cloud computing for a layman.

Introduction by Luke Lonergan

Cloud Computing is a groundbreaking technology that is revolutionizing the way we do computing. Simple speaking, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The central concept of cloud computing is that you don’t buy the hardware or even the software. The cloud is only a metaphor for the Internet. So the phrase cloud computing means “a type of Internet-based computing,” where different services such as servers, storage, and applications are delivered to an organization’s computers and devices through the Internet.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing by Luke Lonergan

One of the essential characteristics of cloud computing is the ability of a system to adapt and scale to changes in workload. Cloud computing is somewhat like grid computing, a type of computing where idle processing cycles of all computers in a network are harnessed to solve problems too intensive for any stand-alone machine, thus confirming that the level of resource available is tightly matched to current demand. This is a defining characteristic that differentiates it from other computing models where the resource is delivered in chunks (e.g., downloaded software applications, individual servers), usually with fixed capacities and upfront costs.

Different Forms Of Cloud Computing

Experts talk about three different kinds of cloud computing, where different services are provided to the users. Note that there’s a measure of vagueness about how these things are characterized and some overlap among them.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) means buying access to raw computing hardware over the internet, such as servers or storage. This is frequently referred to as utility computing since you buy what you need and pay-as-you-go. Ordinary web hosting is an example of IaaS.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) means using an application that is running on someone else’s system. Google Documents and Web-based email are possibly the best-known examples.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) means to develop applications using Web-based tools. So your application primarily runs on systems software and hardware provided by another company. For example, you might develop your own e-commerce store but the whole thing, including the shopping cart, payment mechanism, and checkout running on a merchant’s server. The Google App Engine is also an example of PaaS.

Advantages Of Cloud Computing

Easy Access Anywhere

A significant advantage of cloud computing is that the cloud applications are designed to be accessed securely from anywhere and from any device.


A study in 2010 found that companies lose an average of 263 laptops a year and if these stolen laptops contain confidential data, then it has serious security implications. But with cloud applications, your data is stored securely in the cloud, so a lost laptop is nothing more than a mere inconvenience.

Self-Service, On-Demand Resource Usage

Self-service access to resources is apparently one the most attractive features of clouds. This feature enables users to obtain services directly from clouds, such as spawning the creation of a server and tailoring its configurations, software, and security policies, without having to interact with a human system administrator.


Instant convenience comes at a cost. Instead of buying software and hardware, cloud computing means you buy services, so the upfront capital costs become ongoing operating expenses. In the long run, that might work out much more expensive.

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