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electrineer969010dA cloud is an aerosol consisting of visible mass of minute liquid droplets, frozen crystals, or other particles suspended in the atmosphere of a planetary body or similar space.
bladedemon111510dWhile certainly not a specialist (and do correct me if I am wrong):
Cloud in cloud computing refers to the whole infrastructure (hardware and software) that is used to do a task, without you knowing the specifics. For example:
-You want to store a file online
-This can be done with a specific server, but that has pros and cons (as well as cloud)
-Decide to store it to the "cloud"
-You upload it to the "entry point"
-The infrastructure has the responsibility to store (and recall it) as it sees fit. If you have, say, 50GB on the cloud, it can be even broken across 4-5 servers. That doesn't concern you. What it does, are those 50GB.
So the cloud is the collection of servers and networks between them, as well as the software running to keep this thing going.
Not the best explanation but this is how I see it. (It's actually quite hard to describe it in a simple way without describing what it does).
Voxera640210dBasically cloud means a bunch of computers somewhere that you use over the internet.
Almost all the rest is up for debate ;)
Some claims you need to offer some minimal set of features but I know of no official commonly agreed on definition.
But usually you need to be more diverse than just plain virtual or dedicated hosting to really qualify.
I think the word started due to the early use of a cloud symbol to indicate the internet in diagrams.
sbiewald156610d"There is no cloud, just other people's computers." - someone
Anyway, you can see 'the cloud' as a service for whatever. It might be hosted software (a file storage like Dropbox or a hosted Red is instance for you to used) , hosted virtual servers (Amazon EC2) or something similar.
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