What is cloud computing and what are its benefits
Cloud computing is a term that refers to computer resources and systems available on-demand over the network that can provide a number of integrated computer services without being restricted to local resources for the purpose of facilitating the user, and those resources include space for data storage, backup, and self-synchronization, as well as include program processing capabilities and scheduling of tasks and payment E-mail and remote printing when the user is connected to the network, the user can control these resources through a simple programming interface that simplifies and ignores many details and internal processes.
The concept of cloud computing:
Cloud computing: “It is a technology that depends on transferring the processing and storage space of the computer to the so-called cloud and it is a server device that is accessed via the Internet. Thus, IT programs are transformed from products to services, and the cloud computing infrastructure depends on advanced data centers which provide a lot of storage space for users and it also provides some programs as services for users. It depends on the capabilities provided by Web 2.0 technologies.
The National Center for Standards and Technology defines the “cloud” as: “a model for providing adequate and permanent access at any time to the network, to share a wide range of computing resources that can be deployed and provided with minimal effort or interaction with the service provider.”
History of cloud computing:
The idea of cloud computing from the sixties since John McCarthy expressed the idea by saying, “Computing may be organized to become a public service one day.”
However, cloud computing applications did not actually appear until the beginning of 2000 when Microsoft expanded the concept of using software through the web, followed by many companies, but the most important company that played an important role in the field of cloud computing is Google Inc. 3 Which launched many services that rely on this technology, but not only Google launched services to benefit from this technology only, but in 2009 launched an integrated operating system for computers that works through the concept of cloud computing.
Types of cloud computing:
There are three classes of cloud computing:
- Private Cloud Computing is an infrastructure that a single client leases and operates under his or her full control of data, security, and quality of service.
- Public Cloud Computing is an infrastructure that provides computing resources dynamically over the Internet to multiple clients, and applications of different clients are usually mixed together on cloud servers.
- Hybrid Cloud Computing combines multiple public and private cloud models. Hybrid Clouds show the complex process of determining how applications are distributed across both private and public clouds.
Cloud computing layers:
The cloud computing model is based on the following basic layers:
- Software as a Service – SaaS
- Introducing Software Platforms as a Service –PaaS
- Introducing Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS
Provide software as a service: a layer of cloud computing layer that is more concerned with end user-related applications such as email systems, customer relationship management applications, shared software, and workflow management systems.
Platform as a service: It is a layer of cloud computing that consists mainly of libraries, agents, updates, and runtime tools that developers need in updating the software application as a service. Platform technology as a service utilizes virtual environments in the “infrastructure as a service” layer to deploy and provide software developed in virtual sources of infrastructure as a service.
Infrastructure as a service: it provides computer infrastructure, and instead of purchasing servers, software, data center or network equipment spaces, customers purchase these resources as a completely independent service. The service is usually described on the basis of computing utility and the amount of resources used and thus the cost, which will necessarily be reflected at the activity level.
Cloud computing uses virtualization technology extensively in its “infrastructure as a service” model as this helps to save energy, cost, and space in data centers, as virtual computing is what is the cornerstone of the cloud architecture.
The most important functions of cloud computing:
Data is no longer limited to the user’s hard drive, so customers will be able to access data and applications from anywhere at any time. All you need to access a cloud computing system is a computer connected to the Internet.
It can lead to lower equipment costs: Cloud computing has reduced the requirements for advanced hardware on the customer’s side. The customer does not need to buy a faster computer with large memory, because cloud computing has taken care of such issues. Instead, the customer should purchase a cheap computer, and enough energy processing to run the middleware that is necessary to connect the cloud system.
Companies do not have to purchase a set of programs or work program licenses for each employee. Instead of hardware, the company can pay a cloud computing company fee based on pay-as-you-go.
Servers and storage devices that take up space cost some companies to lease physical space for storage, so cloud computing has given these companies an option to store data, eliminating the need for physical space on the front end.
Businesses may save money on IT support. Simplifying devices, in theory, reduce problems compared to a network of heterogeneous machines and operating systems.
If the back end of the computing system is a network computing system, this means that the customer can take advantage of the power of the entire network. Often times, scientists and researchers face very complex calculations that take years to complete with individual computers. On a network computing system, a customer can send the calculation to the cloud for processing. The cloud system would take advantage of all the computers available at the back end to accelerate complex accounts.
The benefits of cloud computing
It enables the user to access his files and applications through this cloud without the need to provide the application in the user’s device, thus reducing the security risks and the required hardware resources and others. Among them is the use of very large servers to perform complex operations that may require devices with high specifications.
- It saves a lot of money to buy the software the user needs, as all he needs A computer connected to a fast internet line and to be connected to one of the sites that provide the software that it needs
- Easy access to the available applications from any computer connected to the Internet.
- Provide the number of workers in the system and software maintenance.
Cloud Computing Disadvantages:
- The problem of Internet availability is one of the most difficult problems in developing countries, where the service requires the availability of a permanent connection to the Internet while using that service.
- One of the problems that concern users of these services is the problem of protecting intellectual property rights. There are no guarantees that users ’intellectual property rights will not be violated.
- Also, the problem of information security and privacy, as some users fear that other people may share their information.
The future of cloud computing
Cloud computing will soon become everything, sure, and we will reach the point where all operating systems will convert to cloud systems similar to Google Chrome OS. Google has started this line early, and the rest of the companies will follow it, and we will reach a stage that allows the user to run all of his applications across the web, and even the largest games. Cloud computing technologies are developing rapidly, web applications are developing rapidly, and internet speeds are improving rapidly.
From the above, we find that cloud computing technologies are very useful for libraries, especially as they will help libraries in saving costs and providing new services, but nevertheless we find that the number of libraries that benefit from cloud computing technologies is still few, perhaps due to the fact that moving the library to provide services through these technologies will lead To a major change in library policy in addition to that it is not easy to move to the use of new technology with no trained people able to deal with these technologies, but perhaps in the near future we will find many libraries providing their services through cloud computing technologies.