Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Five Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Including a look at the possible delivery and deployment models

In the previous article Cloud Equals SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting...? I made the following statement:

"SaaS is one of the three possible Cloud Computing delivery modes; however, to be considered Cloud Computing, any of those delivery modes must have certain specific characteristics"

So, in this article we will look at those specific characteristics that define exactly what is Cloud Computing, so that next time you will be able to evaluate if a specific offer is truly Cloud Computing, or simply a pre-existing offering that has the Cloud label slapped on it.

We can state that Cloud Computing allows business to increase IT capacity (or add capabilities) on the fly and in real time (Internet-enabled), without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software, and as a pay-per-use service.

However, the above definition is not complete. Here is the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) simplified version of Cloud Computing:

The five characteristics:

On-demand self-service: individuals can set themselves up without needing anyone’s help;
Ubiquitous network access: available through standard Internet-enabled devices;
Location independent resource pooling: processing and storage demands are balanced across a common infrastructure with no particular resource assigned to any individual user;
Rapid elasticity: consumers can increase or decrease capacity at will;
Pay per use: consumers are charged fees based on their usage of a combination of computing power, bandwidth use and/or storage

The possible delivery models:

Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS): Customers rent software hosted by the vendor;
Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS): Customers rent infrastructure and programming tools hosted by the vendor to create their own applications;
Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Customers rent processing, storage,networking and other fundamental computing resources for all purposes.

The possible deployment models:

Private cloud: The cloud infrastructure is owned or leased by a single organization and is operated solely for that organization.
Community cloud: The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations).
Public cloud: The cloud infrastructure is owned by an organization selling cloud services to the general public or to a large industry group.
Hybrid cloud: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (internal, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology).

Here is a chart (created by http://twitter.com/adowbor) that provides a visual summary of NIST working definition of cloud computing:


Note: Private Clouds are also known as Internal Clouds, and Public Clouds as External Clouds.

We can summarize the NIST definition by saying that Cloud Computing is nothing more than a service model where business workloads such as software applications (SaaS), and/or Platforms (PaaS) such as programming tools, and/or Infrastructures (IaaS) such as processing, storage, networking, etc., are used in accordance with the following characteristics:

1. services are provisioned quickly without requiring excessive administrative intervention on the part of the end user’s organization
2. usage of a shared resource model (pool of virtualized resources) to support a cost-effective pricing structure (only pay what you consume), either housed locally within the four walls of the your data center (Private Cloud) or outside the data center at a secondary site or third party hosting facility (Public Cloud)
3. providing self-service interfaces that let customers acquire resources at any time and get rid of them the instant they are no longer needed.

A TRUE CLOUD ABSTRACTS THE UNDERLYING HARDWARE FROM THE BUYER, IS ELASTIC IN SCALING TO DEMAND AND BILLS BUYERS ON A PAY-PER-USE BASIS.

Although the right Cloud Computing definition is important, concentrate on what Cloud Computing does for your business: it provides a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software, and you only pay what you “consume”.

In the next articles, I will cover the followings points:
- Why Large Public and Private Sector Organizations (not just SMB's) Are Seriously Considering Cloud Computing?
- What are the Cloud Computing Challenges and Risks?
- Real-World Cloud Computing Applications- Cloud Computing Enterprise Implementation Road-Map


Thanks, and please let me know how can I help you.
Maria Spínola
http://www.twitter.com/MariaSpinola

P.S. Also see:
- Cloud Computing, in Plain English, to IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's
- Why Should IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's Care About Cloud Computing?
- Cloud Equals SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting...?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Maria Spínola

Maria Spínola is a Researcher, White Paper Author and Copywriter, and Cloud Computing Evangelist and Advisor with more than 15 years experience in enterprise information technologies.

She holds a Software Engineering degree and a "Marketing and Innovation in Retail and Distribution" pos-graduation.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When Enterprises started adopting Hadoop-based Big Data environments over the last ten years, they were mainly on-premise deployments. Organizations would spin up and manage large Hadoop clusters, where they would funnel exabytes or petabytes of unstructured data.However, over the last few years the economics of maintaining this enormous infrastructure compared with the elastic scalability of viable cloud options has changed this equation. The growth of cloud storage, cloud-managed big data e...
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
Your applications have evolved, your computing needs are changing, and your servers have become more and more dense. But your data center hasn't changed so you can't get the benefits of cheaper, better, smaller, faster... until now. Colovore is Silicon Valley's premier provider of high-density colocation solutions that are a perfect fit for companies operating modern, high-performance hardware. No other Bay Area colo provider can match our density, operating efficiency, and ease of scalability.
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
The graph represents a network of 1,329 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "#DevOps", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:50 UTC. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 7-hour, 6-minute period from Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 16:29 UTC to Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:36 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this...
Today's workforce is trading their cubicles and corporate desktops in favor of an any-location, any-device work style. And as digital natives make up more and more of the modern workforce, the appetite for user-friendly, cloud-based services grows. The center of work is shifting to the user and to the cloud. But managing a proliferation of SaaS, web, and mobile apps running on any number of clouds and devices is unwieldy and increases security risks. Steve Wilson, Citrix Vice President of Cloud,...