A term used to describe services over a network by a collection of servers. These computers or cloud of computers enable the users visiting to have access to much faster computers or servers, be able to access programs and services from anywhere with Internet access often without having to install other software, and get access to the services from any device capable of reaching the network or Internet.
Because the term cloud computing is a broad term, it's likely if you've spent any time on the Internet or use devices connected to the Internet that you've used some cloud computing. Below are some common examples of cloud computing you've likely heard of or used.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon EC2 - Amazon.com provides a variety of different cloud computing services
- Dashlane - Online password service to syncronize and manage passwords between all devices.
- Google App Engine - A service that provides users the ability to create scalable web services that use Google's resources.
- Google Calendar - A way to organize your schedule, synchronize, and share events with your friends.
- Google Docs - A fantastic free solution from Google that allows you to open Microsoft Office documents as well as share them with other users with Internet access.
- Online backup - There are dozens of online backup services to store your important information offsite in the cloud. For example, Mozy and Dropbox are two good examples of cloud storage and online storage backup solutions that store information in the cloud.
- Windows Azure - A cloud computing solution by Microsoft that allows companies to develop and run services from their cloud.
- Websites - Many popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Picasa, and YouTube are also often considered parts of cloud computing.