Cloud computing is a new computing technology refers to the on-demand provision of computational
resources via a computer network , rather than from a local computer. Users or
clients can submit a task to the service provider, without actually possessing the software or hardware. The consumer's computer may contain
very little software or data (a minimal operating system and web browser
only), serving as a basic display terminal connected to the Internet. Since the
cloud is the underlying delivery mechanism, cloud-based applications and
services may support any type of software application or service in use
today. Cloud computing service in short is called "The
Previously both data and software had to be stored and processed on
the computer. The development of Local Area Networks allowed for a system could be
organized to increase the performance of the entire system. In an
extension to that concept, cloud computing fundamentally allows for a
functional separation between the resources used and the user's computer, usually residing outside the local
network Consumers now routinely use data-intensive applications driven by cloud technology that were
previously unavailable due to cost and deployment complexity.
In cloud computing, any computer connected to the
Internet is connected to the same pool of computing power, applications,
and files. Users can store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks or play games
on a remote server rather than physically carrying around a storage medium such as a,
pen drive or DVD Even those using web-based email
such as Gmail, , Yahoo! or Outlook are making use of cloud email servers. Hence, desktop applications that
connect to internet-host email providers can also be considered cloud applications.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST )provides a concise and specific definition:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Cloud computing provides computation, software, data access, and storage
services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location
and configuration of the system that delivers the services.
Cloud computing in Indian education system
The Indian school system is the world’s largest school system with over 1.12
million schools and the second largest sector globally. Cloud computing and related business models provide answers to many of
the challenges faced by the Indian educational sector. IT in general has
proven to be a catalyst in making the experience of learning more enjoyable and effective and cloud computing could provide answers to
many of the challenges faced by the education sector in India. The cloud refers to wide-area networks, generally the internet, from which remote
computing resources are shared. Google and others, already offer various
productivity applications, and Microsoft has announced that it will offer Microsoft Office 2010 online next year.
The cloud computing reduces costs and complexity and provides scalability.
The biggest advantage that the cloud brings is to reduce costs and improve efficiency. An institution can rely on the the ‘pay-as-you-go’
characteristic of the three pillars of cloud: IaaS, PaaS and Saas..
Cloud computing solutions can be used for teacher-training courses and rapidly train a larger number of teachers. In the rural
areas, where career choices are limited, cloud online tutoring can play
a major role in helping a person earn his bread and butter. At peak times, online tutoring vendors like Tutor Vista’s teachers coach 2,500
American students in one to-one sessions. Cloud can help bring mass awareness among the rural population through
interactive applications delivered using newer means of delivering education through mobile phones and televisions.
Cloud computing market in India
The public cloud computing market in India is estimated to touch Rs 2,434 crore by 2014 after growing at a CAGR of 53% between
2010-2014 according to market intelligence and advisory firm CyberMedia
Research's India. The overall Indian software as service market is expected to touch Rs
465 crore by end 2011, a growth of 50 per cent over 2010. CyberMedia Research's India Cloud Computing Market Review 2011, a survey
of 'users' and 'non-users' of cloud computing showed that penetration amongst Indian enterprises was 4% in 2010. This is expected to rise to
6.8% for all large and mid-size enterprises in the country by 2012.
Big players into cloud computing
Amazon, Google and now Apples are the big players into cloud computing.
The new iCloud service replaces Apple's MobileMe document-sharing offering, which cost $99 a year. The new iCloud service is free,
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said.
With iCloud, content such as music and documents is stored on large servers instead of on personal hard drives — and is accessible from
anywhere via the Internet.
All of Apple's devices today "have communications systems built into
them," Jobs said. "They can all talk to the cloud. Perhaps the biggest star of the iCloud service is the new iTunes
function that lets people download songs to as many as 10 devices, instead of five, at no extra cost.
Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, said 25 million iPads have been sold and more than 14
billion apps have been sold through the App Store. He introduced iOS 5,
the latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad. The new software, which will ship in the fall, allows owners to set up
and activate their devices without being connected to a computer. Software updates will be available "over the air," Forstall said.
"We are living in a PC-free world. With the iPad, we are ushering in the
post-PC world," he said. "If you want to cut the cord, you can."