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What is Cloud Computing ?

Updated on July 11, 2013

...Why the Cloud changes everything !!

What is The Cloud

The Cloud is a term now used to describe the services and technology that exist on the internet, most people either do not know or do not care how it works. The best comparison is the utility grid supplying gas or electric, the end user has little or no knowledge of the technology at work or the infrastructure but is very happy to be able to plug in and use the dishwasher.

via Nelson Biagio Jr in Brazil... muito obrigado !!
via Nelson Biagio Jr in Brazil... muito obrigado !! | Source

Where Did the Term Originate

The first specific mention of Cloud Computing was in a 1997 paper entitled "Intermediaries in Cloud-Computing: A New Computing Paradigm" by Dr. Ramnath Chellappa

"Cloud computing is a computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits"


Cloud Computing

One analogy for Cloud Computing is a shared office building;-

  • you pay for your own office
  • you may have considerable choice and flexibility over decor
  • you cannot add windows or doors
  • generally what you pay is a small fraction of what you would pay for your own building

You pay a weekly or monthly rent and most likely a maintenance charge;- the maintenance charge you pay your landlord or building management company is the equivalent of Virtualization (the provision of hardware / computing resources / Software as a Service) via The Cloud.

Just as the landlord or management company takes care of utilities, leaks, maintenance, security, upgrades, back-up power so the Cloud based provider performs similar equivalent tasks in the online environment.

Email Provision is a Perfect Example of Cloud Computing

Email via Google/gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo mail is a perfect example of modern cloud computing, your email messages, data and folders and attachments reside on a server somewhere, it does not matter. This browser based email service is also an example of an App (an Application)

Ok So What is the Big Deal

  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Accessibility


Traditionally companies have had an IT Department that looked after hardware, software, problem solving, training, expansion, troubleshooting. The hardware needs to be bigger, faster, fatter, the software has to be upgraded, patched.. the End result, a degree of chaos;-

  • A Lot of Waiting
  • A Lot of Cost
  • A Lot of Frustration at senior levels

This is a Paradigm Shift

a paradigm shift = a change in our basic assumptions

It is now possible / essential to examine your Value Chain with a view to outsourcing both support activities and primary activities for your business. These could be said to fall into three main categories;-

  • Productivity Apps
  • Collaboration Apps
  • Business Apps

Support activities would include things like email & Calendar, Docs & Sites via Google Apps and invoicing via Freshbooks. Then there is the juicy stuff, the primary activities;-

HR and all the compliance that goes with it
the Sales function and all the data and follow-up and coordination that goes with it
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the database issues, security, backup that goes with it.
Anyone who has ever bought into a business or taken over a business and tried to integrate the competing systems and IT Departments will know how big a nightmare this used to be... yes Used To Be !!


What Does It Mean for Small Business or Start-Ups

It means you can have large company enterprise grade hardware and software without all the costs that used to accompany it

It mean you can be in business almost immediately at very little cost

It mean you can expand (or contract) quickly

It means you will be able to see the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for your business at a glance

It means you can have enhanced control over invoicing, payment, cashflow, stock control, employee management, sales management, customer management



Over To you

As an IT Consultant... It's Your Problem Now :-)



What Is In this for Me

I own a little Cloud computing deployment company in Ireland and like to see changes or advances in technology that level the playing field between the big companies (them) and the small companies (us) :-) You can contact me if you would like more information.


.. as it happens

As it happens I am a Google Authorized reseller
As it happens I am a Google Authorized reseller | Source


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    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @RedElf.. thanks very much for the comment..

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @CloudExplorer ..same story - busy on all fronts.. thanks !

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      This is such a clear and easily understandable explanation of Cloud computing. I have some concerns about data security, and how do we as individuals have any control over that with various businesses. Thanks for the food for thought.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Hey Drax just came back to day hi, Hope all is well with you, I been working hard on hub & else where to spread my knowledge.

      I will get with you soon on the Cloud Computing stuff you was interested in working on with me a while back. Can't wait to chat on differing stuff about it all, I would love to share my experience with you & here about yours as well.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....


      actually Google take a different approach... in a typical on-premise environment, your mail/docs etc would be sitting on a single server along with everybody else’s mail/docs. And if it was compromised so is everybody’s mail.

      Google break it into small pieces, spread across their environment. They have done this with all their consumers and business users... it is obfuscated rather than encrypted... it means your data is in little pieces all over the world, impossible (for a hacker) to put it back together again.. Google rocks... !! :-)

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 6 years ago

      I don't like the idea of string my docs, pics and other important information on someone else's server.

      It s like getting a safety deposit box and losing the do i get my stuff back?

      Ok I'm distrusting..;-)

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Hi Jami... thanks, I suppose those of us that have dishwashers and can turn them on do not really consider them a luxury, which they are. Thanks for the vote up... :-)

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 6 years ago

      Cool write , thanks for sharing the info , but of course im one of those that is lucky enough to know how to turn on the dishwasher , i voted you up , all the way , have a great evening:)

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      it is good to think and plan and develop FG... thanks

    • frogissGcomrogiss profile image

      frogissGcomrogiss 6 years ago from China

      Thank you the rich information and analysis from you.

      In these days I have been thinking some other idea and building it now.

      Wishing more good articles and discussions together...

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @ CloudExplorer... thanks very much Mike... I think this is one of the great things about Hubpages that all of us can read and find out things that we never knew before... it was fab to read your hub and it was very informative... :-)

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Nice, I love your professional take on cloud computing as a whole. My perspective view on it is from the consumers view point, I think yours is from the industry's standpoint, so combined we have pretty much covered most bases, when it comes to The "Cloud" overall.

      I love it when people utilize their resources to develop illustrated forms of informative thinking such as this, your hub is truly accurate and makes me feel unified & more knowledgeable in my quest for more understanding into the whole definition of Cloud Computing.

      I love your historical spin on it all, when your hub stared off as well. I didn't think to do much research prior to getting mine started, but thanks again for all the kind words you've expressed to me yesterday. Awesome Hub Voted Up.

      Your new friend Mike,

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Hi lafamillia... yes security is important, often people forget once their machine is connected to the internet it is really connected and they are responsible for their security, they must have to depend on their own firewall, security and virus software. The may not even have a backup policy. I have absolute faith in Google... :-)

    • lafamillia profile image

      lafamillia 6 years ago from Soutcentral Europe

      Actually it's "Sky-Computing" but ... yes - shorten, it's computing and storing everything on the Internet,on servers that are miles away - safe. BUT: have you questioned yourself about the privacy of those documents?