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Cloud Computing

Page history last edited by Bev Wood 10 years, 9 months ago

From Wikipedia: an explanation of the cloud.

Cloud Computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid.

Cloud computing is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client–server in the early 1980s. Details are abstracted from the users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them.

Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.

The term "cloud" is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online that are accessed from another Web service or software like a Web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers.

Most cloud computing infrastructures consist of services delivered through common centers and built on servers. Clouds often appear as single points of access for all consumers' computing needs. Commercial offerings are generally expected to meet quality of service (QoS) requirements of customers, and typically include SLAs. The major cloud service providers include Microsoft, Salesforce, Skytap, Amazon and Google.


The essence of the Cloud:

1. The illusion of infinite computing resources available on demand.

2. The elimination of an "up front" commitment by cloud users, thereby allowing companies to start small and increase hardware resources when there is an increase in their need.

3. The ability to pay for use of computing resources on a short term basis as needed and release them when finished, thereby rewarding conservation by letting machines and storage go when they are not used.

4. The cloud---applications used through your browser instead of through a local client connecting to software installed on your server, hospital, campus---is compelling. Institutions are shifting services to the Web through opting for subscription pricing instead of buying software.

5. Consider how you gain access to IT services. Technology support folks cannot link you to the dynamic, creative software you need, so IT does not lead pedagogical innovation in IT for your institution.  For IT, Zero downtime is the name of the game.

Faculty members and departments or programs must lead in experimentation with new technologies. IT is not the place to look for teaching and learning technologies; they are part of the business of the institution. They are looking for efficiency of operations to protect revenue.

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