What is Cloud Computing? We present it as virtualized resources to be used for processing, memory, storage, and networking.
Cloud computing builds upon virtualization to make the infrastructure much more agile and flexible. You can think of cloud computing as the pooling of not simply virtual machines but resources such as storage, networking and compute, while providing services and applications to consumers with reduced administrative or management overhead. The services can be spun up and spun down as needed.
Ultimately this provides greater elasticity for the services, efficiency and agility for the business, and accountability for the actual resource.
Benefits of Cloud Computing:
- Dedicated space for housing infrastructure
- High bandwidth Internet provider
- extremely redundant power source
- Dust free controlled environment
- Efficient cooling air ventilation
- High Physical security
- Inter data center network- Disaster recovery
Cloud Solutions: Essential Characteristics
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has identified five essential characteristics that are part of a cloud computing solution.
- On-demand self-service. The ability to allocate required resources by the end user themselves as needed without involvement from the cloud service provider.
- Broad network access. Being accessible via standard network access mechanisms, without the need for any specialized infrastructure.
- Resource pooling. The pooling of the various resources to be allocated from and returned to as needed.
- Rapid elasticity. The ability to scale up and scale down as required, whether automatically or manually, without lead times being required.
- Measured service. The ability to measure exactly what resources are being used, to monitor and control those services and to be able to present that data to the service provider or end user.
Types of Cloud Services
In terms of service types, these effectively can be broken into three categories.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Courtesy: Microsoft: CLOUD 200x Introduction to Cloud Computing