n. (context informal computing English) computing services provided over the Internet (or "cloud"), whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand.
Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers that may be located far from the user–ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricitynetwork.
Advocates claim that cloud computing allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs (e.g., purchasing servers). As well, it enables organizationsfocus on their core businesses instead of spending time and money on computer infrastructure. Proponents also claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables Information Technology (IT) teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand. Cloud providers typically use a "pay as you go" model. This will lead to unexpectedly high charges if administrators do not adapt to the cloud pricing model.
In 2009, the availability of high-capacity networks, low-cost computers and storage devices as well as the widespread adoption of hardware virtualization, service-oriented architecture, and autonomic and utility computing led to a growth in cloud computing. Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands decrease. In 2013, it was reported that cloud computing had become a highly demanded service or utility due to the advantages of high computing power, cheap cost of services, high performance, scalability, accessibility as well as availability. Some cloud vendors are experiencing growth rates of 50% per year, but being still in a stage of infancy, it has pitfalls that need to be addressed to make cloud computing services more reliable and user friendly.