What is Cloud Computing?

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of from your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing uses networks of large groups of servers to store your applications and data.

You don’t need to install, configure, secure, and update your software. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles this instead. The only thing the user’s computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system’s interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser.

There’s a good chance you’ve already used some form of cloud computing. If you have an e-mail account with a web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! or Gmail, then you’ve had some experience with cloud computing. Instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you log in to a Web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account doesn’t exist on your computer – it’s on the service’s computer cloud.