Cloud Computing#

Synonyms: Mesh Computing.

In Brief#

Cloud computing is the provision of computing resources (storage and processing power) on demand, without direct user intervention. A large cloud often includes multiple data centres, each housing a different set of functions. The cloud computing model aims to achieve core economies of scale through sharing of resources, taking advantage of a “pay-as-you-go” model that can decrease capital expenditures, but can also result in unforeseen operating expenses for users who are unaware of the concept.

More in Detail#

With cloud computing, users are able to utilise any or all of these technologies, without having to know a great deal about them or being an expert in them. As a result, cloud computing reduces overhead and lets users focus on expanding their business rather than on IT problems.

Virtualization is the primary enabling technology for cloud computing. By separating a physical computing device into multiple virtual ones, each of which can easily be managed and used for computing operations, virtualization software allows companies to reduce costs and increase efficiency. By using operating system-level virtualization, idle computing resources can be allocated more efficiently and turned into a scalable system of independent computing devices. Increasing utilisation of the infrastructure through virtualization reduces costs and speeds up IT operations.

In autonomous computing, users can provision resources on-demand by automating a number of steps. Through automation, processes become more efficient, labour costs are reduced, and the possibility of human error is reduced. In the context of Green AI, cloud computing addresses two major challenges - energy consumption and resource consumption.

Cloud computing can significantly lower carbon emissions and energy use thanks to virtualization, dynamic provisioning environment, multi-tenancy, and green data centre technologies. Certain on-premises applications can be moved into the cloud by large enterprises and small businesses in order to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions. People can buy products and services online without having to travel to physical stores, reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel. One example would be online shopping, where they purchase products online without having to drive and waste fuel to reach the physical stores.

This entry was written by Andrea Rossi, Andrea Visentin and Barry O’Sullivan.