Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Larry Alton, Liz McMillan, Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here