When you hear people talking about the cloud computing system, it is understandable to be a bit confused. Below is an explanation of what cloud computing is. It might be helpful to divide cloud computing into two categories: the front end and the back end. Both sections are connected to each one another through a network called the Internet. The front end is the computer or what the user sees. The back end is the cloud portion of the cloud computing system.
The front end will include the user’s personal computer or company network and the applications that are needed to access the cloud side of the system. Remember, all cloud computing systems do not have the same user interface. Other cloud systems may have more unique applications that will provide the necessary network access those clients.
On the back end of the cloud system are numerous computers, a lot more servers and data storage systems that create the cloud portion of the cloud computing services. A cloud computing system basically includes virtually any computer program that you can imagine, from a simple data processing application to complicated video games. Then, each of these applications that are being used will be assigned its own dedicated server.
The central server is what manages the system; it monitors all the traffic on the system and any demands from the clients to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The central server follows a set of strict protocols and uses specialized software called Middleware. Middleware is what actually allows the networked computers to be able to communicate with each other.
Typically, servers will not run at full capacity. This means that there is some processing power that is not being used and could go to waste. It is very easy to be able to fool a physical server into believing it is really many different servers, each running its own independent operating system. This technique is called server virtualization. Simply by boosting the output of some individual servers, the server virtualization is then able to reduce the need for more physical machines.
If a cloud computing company is working with a lot of clients, there will likely be a huge demand for large amounts of storage space. Some companies will probably have to need dozens of digital storage devices. Cloud computing systems need to have at least double the number of storage devices it typically requires to keep all of its clients’ information stored. This is a precaution, because these devices occasionally break down.
A cloud computing system has to make copies of all its clients’ data and then store it on other devices. These copies are what enables the central servers to access the backup machines to retrieve any data that may otherwise have been unreachable. Making copies of this data as a backup is called redundancy.
Cloud computing does not have to be hard to understand. The information above should be able to answer the questions you might have had. The cloud is the way to go when you need more storage options.
To understand more about the architecture of the cloud, visit Cloud Hosting Plans.
To learn more about the cloud and cloud computing, visit Cloud Computing on Nist.gov.