Rich Crocco

Demystifying Cloud Computing

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I recently attended a talk on cloud computing by Dana Edberg of the University of Nevada, Reno. Although the talk was geared towards accountants, as the audience were mostly CPAs, I am interested in the general concepts of cloud computing effectively presented by Edberg.

First thing is to demystify the concept of cloud computing. The buzzword ‘Cloud’ has led to inaccurate characterizations of just what cloud computing is. Basically, the cloud represents servers accessible through the internet. This means you don’t need servers and other IT infrastructure to create, develop or operate computer applications. All you need is an internet connection. Currently there are three major forms of cloud services available (there are more on the way):  IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. I will explain each one in a little more detail.


IaaS stands for Infrastructure-as-a-Service.  By the way, each one of these acronyms represents which part of the overall computing power has been out-sourced to the cloud, or provider. In this case it is infrastructure only. This is the most basic form of cloud computing and is for the most part reserved for larger companies requiring large amounts of storage and computing power. With IaaS basically all hardware is out-sourced but none of the software. If you develop all your own software and/or have large storage needs requiring large climate controlled rooms and buildings to house servers and other infrastructure, then IaaS may be a good option. Read more…