In simple terms, Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services to a user or an organization—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet ("the Cloud"). Cloud Computing is usually provided using virtualization, in where the physical computer hardware is abstracted from the software & applications that are running on that hardware.
Cloud Computing services can be provided several different ways, via public, private or hybrid clouds
. Public cloud computing is provided by 3rd party service providers (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud) who own the physical hardware and then sell these resources online via a secure internet connection. In a private cloud, an enterprise builds a cloud within their own data center
by running applications on virtual servers that may reside on any number of available physical machines. Hybrid cloud computing is where a mixture of private and public cloud computing services are used together in tandem.
As part of RightScale's 2018 State of the Cloud report, an in-depth survey was conducted of 997 IT professionals about their adoption of cloud infrastructure and related technologies, an astonishing 96% of respondents indicated that they run their enterprise's workloads in a cloud – either public, private or hybrid.