Project and Seminar Topics: Seminar on Cloud computing

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.

This frequently takes the form of web-based tools or applications that users can access and use through a web browser as if it was a program installed locally on their own computer. NIST provides a somewhat more objective and specific definition here. 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. A key element of cloud computing is customization and the creation of a user-defined experience.
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, HP, IBM, Amazon and Google.

Cloud computing derives characteristics from, but should not be confused with:
1. Autonomic computing — "computer systems capable of self-management".
2. Client–server model – Client–server computing refers broadly to any distributed application that distinguishes between service providers (servers) and service requesters (clients).
3. Grid computing — "a form of distributed computing and parallel computing, whereby a 'super and virtual computer' is composed of a cluster of networked, loosely coupled computers acting in concert to perform very large tasks"
4. Mainframe computer — powerful computers used mainly by large organizations for critical applications, typically bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.
5. Utility computing — the "packaging of computing resources, such as computation and storage, as a metered service similar to a traditional public utility, such as electricity";
6. Peer-to-peer – a distributed architecture without the need for central coordination, with participants being at the same time both suppliers and consumers of resources (in contrast to the traditional client–server model).

Cloud computing users avoid capital expenditure (CapEx) on hardware, software, and services when they pay a provider only for what they use. Consumption is usually billed on a utility (resources consumed, like electricity) or subscription (time-based, like a newspaper) basis with little or no upfront cost. Other benefits of this approach are low barriers to entry, shared infrastructure and costs, low management overhead, and immediate access to a broad range of applications. In general, users can terminate the contract at any time (thereby avoiding return on investment risk and uncertainty), and the services are often covered by service level agreements (SLAs) with financial penalties.

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