Introduction to Cloud Computing

Definition :
“Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks,
servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This
cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”

Characteristics:

On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.

Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).

Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.

Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time. 

Measured service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

Cloud Computing offers great benefits for organization and individuals by reducing cost and increasing flexibility. A good and robust Cloud Computing model should consist of all these five essential characteristics. There are also privacy and security concerns. If you are building Cloud service or considering public Cloud, you should think also about how your organization and your customer’s data can be protected. Carefully review the terms of service or contracts, and challenge the Cloud provider to meet your needs.

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