Cloud computing may be regarded as a system made up of interconnected computers delivered as a single or unified computing resource. Normally, the delivery of services is in line with an agreement established between a service provider and a client.
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While some providers of cloud computing services are mainly concerned with storage services, others have different offerings besides simple data storage. Google Drive, for example, permits simultaneous access to Google Apps using word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation software. SkyDrive offers services similar to Google Drive. This paper briefly compares cloud computing and cloud storage and goes on to discuss cloud computing services offered by Salesforce, Google, and Microsoft.
Cloud Computing vs Cloud Storage
The most obvious difference between cloud computing and cloud storage has to do with the fact that cloud storage only supports data storage on the cloud. On the other hand, cloud computing allows clients to use different applications besides offering storage services.
With its customer relationship management product, Salesforce is viewed as a market leader under the SaaS category of cloud computing services. One of the customer relationship management products delivered by Salesforce is the sales cloud which is mainly concerned with the sell of products and services to clients. Another common customer relationship management product is the data cloud. Unlike the sales cloud, the data cloud is concerned with the provision of data-related services to customers.
Under the PaaS category of cloud computing services, the company offers its customers with a development platform commonly referred to as force.com which is made up of a working engine, a database, and design tools for creating a user interface.
Google offers a number of cloud-based services to its customers. Presently, the company does not offer any IaaS cloud computing services. The services provided by the company under the SaaS class include email services, Google docs, Google calendar, Google groups, and Picasa.
Under the PaaS category, Google presents its clients with the Google App Engine, a development platform hosted by Google cloud. According to Chee and Franklin (2010), Google App Engine allows users to comfortably run web-based applications on the infrastructure provided by the Google Company. By and large, Google App Engine applications are easy to develop, manage, and upgrade.
Like its competitors, Microsoft offers a number of cloud computing services. Under the SaaS category, for example, customers are able to access email programs such as Windows Live Hotmail which was initially known as Hotmail. Other SaaS products provided by Microsoft include Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Live Meeting. Under the PaaS category, Microsoft provides Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure presents users with a platform that can be used for development work. According to Chee and Franklin (2010), Microsoft’s Azure is considered to be part of a multifaceted cloud computing solution that is rapidly gaining popularity in the cloud computing market. Microsoft Azure is made up of three key parts, namely, Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and.Net services. While Windows Azure provides a scalable environment with capabilities such as storage and hosting, SQL Azure is a relational database for the cloud.
Also available among Microsoft’s cloud computing services is App Fabric which provides network services for the cloud. Microsoft’s NaaS services are designed to enable clients to access on-demand network services. NaaS services provided Microsoft comprise of virtual private networks (VPN) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
Chee, B. & Franklin, C. (2010). Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.