What is cloud computing?

Everything you need to know about cloud computing from IaaS and PaaS to hybrid, public, and private cloud.

Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services — from applications to storage and processing power — typically over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure, companies can rent access to anything from applications or servers from a cloud service provider. Providers can benefit from significant economies of scale by providing the same services to a wide range of customers.

One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use.

Cloud computing underpins a vast number of services, from consumer offerings like Gmail and Netflix to enterprise workloads, providing the arrays of processors needed for artificial intelligence.

Cloud computing is becoming the default option for many services: software vendors are increasingly offering their applications as services over the internet rather than standalone products as they try to switch to a subscription model. However, there is a potential downside to cloud computing, in that it can also introduce new costs and new risks for companies using it.


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