Cloud computing can be defined as: “a variety of computing concepts that involve a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet.” Our understanding of cloud computing is distributed computing over a network with the ability to run a program or application on many connected computers at the same time.
From our research we can describe Cloud computing as both a platform and a type of application. The Cloud computing platform offers, configures, reconfigures and provisions hardware and software services as needed. Server equipment in the cloud can be physical or virtual machines. Clouds in actuality also offer storage area networks (SANs), network equipment, firewall and other security devices. Cloud computing refers to applications that are not stored or ran from the local systems, but that exist on the cloud and are accessed remotely. Any user with suitable internet connection and standard browser can access a pool of virtualized computer resources in the cloud.
Thus, a cloud is an extension of the IT environment (hardware, data center, data storage and software) that is not operated locally within a company, but instead trough providers hired as a service usually located in a different geographic location. The applications and data are no longer in the LAN, but now exist in the virtual cloud. Most providers of cloud solutions leverage the pooling effects that arise from the sharing of resources for their business model.
In order to better understand the structure of cloud computing professionals divide the system into two sections: the front and the back end, which are connected through a network, usually the Internet. The front end is what end users normally see. The back end is the "cloud" section of the system. The front end includes the client's computer or computer network and the application required to access the cloud computing system, normally a web browser or in the case of a private clouds companies, a custom applications that provide network access to clients. On the back end of the system are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the "cloud" of computing services. Essentially, the cloud could include practically any computer program you can imagine, from data processing to video games. Usually, each application will have its own dedicated server. The back end uses a set of protocols and middleware to communicate to networked computers. Virtualization is the key technology used to “fool” a physical server into thinking it's actually multiple servers, each running with its own independent operating system. By maximizing the output of individual servers, server virtualization reduces the need for more physical machines. Another important aspect of cloud computing is RAID technology and is very useful in case the system breaks down. A cloud computing system must make a copy of all its clients' information and store it on other devices....