Cloud computing is made up of three major forms:
1. Software-as-a-service (SaaS): Customer has access to provider’s software without needing their own data center.
2. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS): Customer can create and develop applications on a provider’s computing environment.
3. Infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas): Customer can rent a data center environment without worrying about maintenance.
The early driver of widespread adoption of cloud computing was the SaaS delivery model. This allowed the software provider to sell access to its software over the Internet and eliminated the need for the consumer to purchase licenses and store the software on their own hardware. It offered the user scalability and customization based on their needs and goals.
Since then, a combination of technologies has emerged which have further fueled the demand for cloud computing.
* Server virtualization: Various hardware and software resources are pooled together and users are offered access. It gives the same appearance and capabilities of a dedicated server, but without the cost.
* Service-oriented architecture (SOA): Organizes software code so that one set of data, and the code written to process it, can be reused by other applications in the organization.
* Open source software: A product’s source code is made available to the public with little to no copyright restrictions.
* Web development: Basic website development services have driven down the cost and made updating possible for less technically skilled workers.
* Mashups: Application programming interfaces (APIs) request services from other software sources and websites. APIs play a key part in enabling mashups, which are websites made up of data from multiple sources.
The Internet has made all of these new technologies possible and available to the masses.
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