STRIDES Initiative: Introduction

What Is Cloud?

Digital rendition of a cloudThe cloud generally refers to computational infrastructure and services that are located off-site and owned by commercial providers. Cloud-based services offered by commercial providers include networks, servers, storage, applications, and other services and tools for data computation and hosting—all accessible via the web on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

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What Are Key Characteristics of a Cloud Environment?

In general, the cloud is:

  • Scalable—There is no capacity limit. You can scale up and down as needed.
  • Accessible—You can access cloud resources on demand from multiple computers and mobile devices.
  • Cost-effective—There are no upfront costs. Commercial providers use a pay-as-you-go model and give you access to as many resources as you need, and you only pay for the resources you use.
  • Flexible—Computation and storage resources can be set up when needed will, used for any chosen period of time, and then turned off.
  • Secure—Security configurations are available to help protect data and ensure proper access and auditing.

How Can Cloud Services Be Used for Research?

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This page last reviewed on August 7, 2019