Cloud computing is the use of various services, such as software development platforms, servers, storage, and software, over the internet, referred to as the "cloud."
There are mainly three cloud computing characteristics of cloud-computing vendors:
1. The back-end of the application (hardware) is completely managed by a cloud vendor.
2. A user only pays for services he uses (memory, processing time and bandwidth).
3. Services are scalable end to end.
It is common to categorize cloud computing services as infrastructure as a service, platform as a service or software as a service.
In a cloud computing system, a significant shift in workload happens. Local computers do not have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computer systems which make the cloud handles them. Hardware, Software demands on the user's side decreases. The only thing the user's computer needs to handle is to be able to run is the cloud computing system's interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud's network takes care of the rest all.
Let's say there is an executive at a large company. His particular responsibilities include making sure that all of your employees have the right hardware and software they need to do their jobs. Buying computers for everyone isn't enough, he also has to purchase software or software licenses to give employees the tools of requirement. Whenever there is a new hire, the executive has to buy more software or make sure that the current software license allows another user.
There may be an alternative for the executives. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, he only has to load one application. This application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for their job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from e-mail to complicated data analysis programs. It's called cloud computing, and it has the potential to change the entire computer industry.