This page will help you understand what cloud computing is and how it functions, using AppNexus's own cloud as a real-world example of cloud computing as applied to the world of online advertising.
When we hear that something is "in the cloud", what that's actually referring to is a repository (such as large datacenters) where software applications and files are housed and made available through an Internet connection. In other words, when you upload a photo to Instagram, you're essentially accessing and storing the photo in a cloud-based service, also know as a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
Technically, a computing cloud is a group of servers networked together with the following two characteristics:
Clouds are being used by businesses for a couple of main reasons:
To help better understand how cloud computing works in real-world situations, here's a diagram showing the AppNexus cloud architecture composed of multiple servers hosting our applications and those of our clients.
We built and manage our own cloud, which is used by us, and rented out to our clients. We did this for a few reasons: