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Name: Vinnu
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Country: India
Date: Fall 2011

What is cloud computing?

"Cloud" in today's high tech industry is congruent to the Internet, where the Internet is a network of computers. These computers have the capabilities of extreme number crunching or complex calculations, data processing or storage, and applications and services. Respectively, examples of industries include High Performance Computing, data warehousing, ISP (Internet service providers), and web hosting companies.

The simplest of these to explain is High Performance Computing.

For smaller companies, or even Universities, who do not have the money to purchase Supercomputers, these small companies can hire the services of other companies who provide mathematical analysis or 3 dimensional modeling. The connection between the two companies is the Internet.

Cloud computing consists of services that include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and a few more.

In short, it is like having a supercomputer in your building (if you can afford one) to perform complex calculations or modeling, BUT that supercomputer is not in your building - it is at another location, in your city, or in another state or in another country, connected through the Internet, or simply in the "cloud" - Cloud Computing.

When a huge array of computers are used to solve a problem, this is a related area, called grid computing, but that would not be answering your question.

-Alex Viray

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