The new buzz in the computer world is cloud computing. The origins of this term are rooted in the popular conception of the Internet as a massive cloud of information. For many pundits, including Tim O’Reilly, cloud computing is the movement towards a kind of singularity for our knowledge base as a species. Perhaps that is a bit grand, but cloud computing is quickly becoming the basis for how we request and retrieve information.
You simply need access to the Internet, otherwise known as the Cloud, and a tool, read as a computer, to translate the data. What cloud computing promises is access despite a computer, that is, more and more the information and applications you need will exist outside of your computer, on the Internet. Cloud computing has streamlined the quest for information, software, documents, music, and more into a near one to one ratio. You ask and you receive.
The engine running cloud computing is virtualization. This allows software to be highly customized, while freeing the user from the demands maintaining software applications demands. This new model will demand less and less hardware and more and more applications that can house your information. This means software will become more and more of a service that people pay to use. This requires virtualizing the application so that it can run it anywhere.
Cloud computing is moving more and more towards local cloud computing. This makes a cache of programs and files on your computer accessible anywhere. This allows you to work offline from any computer, using the programs you have at home. The advantages of this type of cloud computing are seemingly self-evident. Though you could use a third-party application online, now you wan use your software online.
Rather than a dedicated server, you can host your website on a cloud server. This allows you to upgrade or downgrade your level of computing power depending on your personal or business needs. The metaphor with cloud computing is electricity. The more you use, the more you pay. Similarly, it can be likened to a taxi — you pay for the trip, not a fixed fee. Hardware is no longer the focus, rather the focus is the information.
The future of operating systems seems to be cloud computing. Log into the cloud and begin your online adventure today.