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Cloud Application

Introduction of Cloud Application

Cloud computing is where software applications, processing power, data and potentially even artificial intelligence are accessed over the Internet. Many private individuals now regularly use an online e-mail application such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail. Exchanging messages and sharing photos and video on social networking sites like Facebook is now also very common. However, these types of cloud computing activities are just the beginning. Indeed, it is likely that within a decade the vast majority of personal and business computing will be Internet based.

Already over two million businesses have adopted the Google Apps online e-mail and office suite. Twenty percent of companies now also report at least some use of the Google Docs online word processor. In February 2010, IBM signed a contract with the US Airforce to design a cloud computing infrastructure capable of supporting around 100 bases and 700,000 active personnel. In the same month, Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform also became commercially available. Mobile computers like Apple's iPad, as well as netbooks and tablets running Google's new Chrome OS operating system, are additionally very much intended as cloud access devices for a new computing age.



So what, you may reasonably ask, is the cloud? Well, for years the Internet has been represented on network diagrams by a cloud symbol. When, around 2008, a variety of new services started to emerge that permitted computing resources to be accessed over the Internet, the label "cloud computing" therefore emerged as an umbrella term. Does this mean that we really thought to be talking about "Internet computing"? Well, perhaps. However, in the strictest sense, the "cloud" is a label for online computing resources rather than the entire Internet. The term "cloud computing" is also useful to separate the kinds of things we have been doing online for a couple of decades from a totally new age of online software and processing power.

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