What is the Cloud? 30MarYou may be wondering, what is the cloud? First of all, the term ‘cloud’ is used as a metaphor for storing files and data over the internet instead of in a database on a hard drive or in folders on a computer.Cloud computing is all about the delivery of computing and storage as a service to the community. Users can access the cloud using light weight applications, desktop clients or devices known as ‘thin’ or ‘zero’ clients.For a mobile user, mobile office or even a company who requires operation in geographical locations, having your network in the cloud is a tremendous benefit. With the cloud, there is no need for expensive communications costs and quite often, a standard internet connection is sufficient.The cloud is made up of three different variations; private, public and hybrid clouds.PRIVATE CLOUDS: A cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organisation, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.PUBLIC CLOUDS: Public cloud applications, storage and other resources are made available to the general public by a service provider. These services are free or offered on a pay-per-use model.HYBRID CLOUDS: A composition of two or more clouds that remain individual entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.By utilising hybrid cloud architecture, companies and individuals are able to obtain degrees of fault tolerance combined with locally immediate usability without dependency on internet connectivity. Hybrid cloud architecture requires both on-premises resources and remote server based cloud infrastructure.