A new set of terms has been circulating recently, including cloud computing, cloud applications, and “in the cloud.” I’ve seen the quizzical expression on some when I mention these words, and get an occasional question about the meaning of these terms.
Cloud applications (programs) and services are running at least partially, over the Internet on a remote server or “in the cloud. These services are accessed by the user with a browser. Cloud computing is a result of the increasing power of computers, the increasing speed of the internet and ‘virtualization,’ which is the increasing capability of computers, and servers, to run ‘virtual’ machines inside a physical machine.
Cloud applications aren’t new, but the terminology is. Google Docs is a free Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service. Google Docs has been around in various forms since 2005-2006. Wikipedia has a listing of cloud services here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cloud_applications
Anti-virus services “in the cloud” are a fairly recent development. Scanning of the files is handled on a remote server rather than on a user’s machine.
Here’s an excellent post by Filter Joe about what it means to work in the cloud. http://bit.ly/ddSJQi