Cloud computing services are
|“||tools accessed via the Internet that allow consumers to create, edit, and store documents (such as private photos and videos, calendars and address books, diaries and journals, and budgets and financial spreadsheets) online. . . .||”|
“The most common cloud computing services allow Internet consumers to use a Web browser to create a spreadsheet or presentation, store and manipulate photos, store medical records, organize and play multimedia files, back up data, or maintain calendars or address books. Business-oriented cloud computing services allow companies to manage customer relations, store data, or run their own applications on remote computers."
Cloud computing services have three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting:
- It is sold on demand — typically by the minute or the hour.
- It is elastic — a user can use as much or as little of a service as it wants at any given time; and
- It is fully managed by the provider — the consumer needs only a computer and Internet access.