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Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood

In The Cloud



Anyway, clouds are insubstantial things unable to bear the weight of a cluster of big-iron servers attempting to perch perilously on top. Much better to nestle your servers in the warm fuzzy nurturing embrace of the cloud whose opaqueness hides them from nasty predators.




In the Cloud


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Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).


Organizations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications. For example, healthcare companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention. And video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world.


The cloud allows you to trade fixed expenses (such as data centers and physical servers) for variable expenses, and only pay for IT as you consume it. Plus, the variable expenses are much lower than what you would pay to do it yourself because of the economies of scale.


With the cloud, you can expand to new geographic regions and deploy globally in minutes. For example, AWS has infrastructure all over the world, so you can deploy your application in multiple physical locations with just a few clicks. Putting applications in closer proximity to end users reduces latency and improves their experience.


IaaS contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT. It typically provides access to networking features, computers (virtual or on dedicated hardware), and data storage space. IaaS gives you the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources. It is most similar to the existing IT resources with which many IT departments and developers are familiar.


AWS has more services, and more features within those services, than any other cloud provider, including compute, storage, databases, networking, data lakes and analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, IoT, security, and much more.


AWS has more services, and more features within those services, than any other cloud provider, including compute, storage, databases, networking, data lakes and analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, IoT, security, and much more.


The cloud refers to software and services that run on the Internet, instead of locally on your computer. Most cloud services can be accessed through a Web browser like Firefox or Google Chrome, and some companies offer dedicated mobile apps.


Cloud computing[1] is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user.[2] Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each of which is a data center. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and typically uses a pay-as-you-go model, which can help in reducing capital expenses but may also lead to unexpected operating expenses for users.[3]


Advocates of public and hybrid clouds claim that cloud computing allows companies to avoid or minimize up-front IT infrastructure costs. Proponents also claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and that it enables IT teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand,[4][5][6] providing burst computing capability: high computing power at certain periods of peak demand.[7]


According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on cloud computing services has reached $706 billion and expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025.[8] While Gartner estimated that global public cloud services end-user spending would reach $600 billion by 2023.[9] As per a McKinsey & Company report, cloud cost-optimization levers and value-oriented business use cases foresee more than $1 trillion in run-rate EBITDA across Fortune 500 companies as up for grabs in 2030.[10] In 2022, more than $1.3 trillion in enterprise IT spending was at stake from the shift to the cloud, growing to almost $1.8 trillion in 2025, according to Gartner.[11]


The term cloud was used to refer to platforms for distributed computing as early as 1993, when Apple spin-off General Magic and AT&T used it in describing their (paired) Telescript and Personal Link technologies.[12] In Wired's April 1994 feature "Bill and Andy's Excellent Adventure II", Andy Hertzfeld commented on Telescript, General Magic's distributed programming language:


In the 1990s, telecommunications companies, who previously offered primarily dedicated point-to-point data circuits, began offering virtual private network (VPN) services with comparable quality of service, but at a lower cost. By switching traffic as they saw fit to balance server use, they could use overall network bandwidth more effectively.[citation needed] They began to use the cloud symbol to denote the demarcation point between what the provider was responsible for and what users were responsible for. Cloud computing extended this boundary to cover all servers as well as the network infrastructure.[15] As computers became more diffused, scientists and technologists explored ways to make large-scale computing power available to more users through time-sharing.[citation needed] They experimented with algorithms to optimize the infrastructure, platform, and applications, to prioritize tasks to be executed by CPUs, and to increase efficiency for end users.[16]


The use of the cloud metaphor for virtualized services dates at least to General Magic in 1994, where it was used to describe the universe of "places" that mobile agents in the Telescript environment could go. As described by Andy Hertzfeld:


The use of the cloud metaphor is credited to General Magic communications employee David Hoffman, based on long-standing use in networking and telecom. In addition to use by General Magic itself, it was also used in promoting AT&T's associated Personal Link Services.[18]


In early 2008, NASA's Nebula,[23] enhanced in the RESERVOIR European Commission-funded project, became the first open-source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds, and for the federation of clouds.[24]


By mid-2008, Gartner saw an opportunity for cloud computing "to shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT services and those who sell them"[25] and observed that "organizations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based models" so that the "projected shift to computing ... will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas."[26]


In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative known as OpenStack. The OpenStack project intended to help organizations offering cloud-computing services running on standard hardware. The early code came from NASA's Nebula platform as well as from Rackspace's Cloud Files platform. As an open-source offering and along with other open-source solutions such as CloudStack, Ganeti, and OpenNebula, it has attracted attention by several key communities. Several studies aim at comparing these open source offerings based on a set of criteria.[33][34][35][36][37][38][39]


On March 1, 2011, IBM announced the IBM SmartCloud framework to support Smarter Planet.[40] Among the various components of the Smarter Computing foundation, cloud computing is a critical part. On June 7, 2012, Oracle announced the Oracle Cloud.[41]


Though service-oriented architecture advocates "Everything as a service" (with the acronyms EaaS or XaaS,[67] or simply aas), cloud-computing providers offer their "services" according to different models, of which the three standard models per NIST are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).[66] These models offer increasing abstraction; they are thus often portrayed as layers in a stack: infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service, but these need not be related. For example, one can provide SaaS implemented on physical machines (bare metal), without using underlying PaaS or IaaS layers, and conversely one can run a program on IaaS and access it directly, without wrapping it as SaaS. 041b061a72


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