Definition of Could Computing
Cloud Computing refers to flexible self-service, network-accessible computing resource pools that can be allocated to meet demand.
Services are flexible because the resources and processing power available to each can be adjusted on the fly to meet changes in need or based on configuration settings in an administrative interface, without the need for direct IT personnel involvement.
Definition and Characteristics of Could Computing
Cloud computing really is accessing resources and services needed to perform functions with dynamically changing needs. The cloud is a virtualization of resources that maintains and manages itself.
Cloud computing allows the allocation of resources to be adjusted as needed, creating a hardware-independent framework for future growth and development.
- On-demand service: User not worried about maintenance and setup issues etc.
- Networked Shared Resources: Large capacity distributed/multiplexed over several users
- Flexible Provisioning: Dynamically scale resources
- Fine-grained metering: pay-as-you-use model
Common Characteristics of Could Computing
- Managed by the provider
- Flexible resource assignment
- Network accessible
- Managed through self-service on demand
1. Managed by the provider
Once applications and services have been moved to external cloud computing, an organization no longer needs to worry about local data center issues regarding power, space, and cooling, and developers need only know whether their applications will be running on one cloud service platform or another.
For example, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or Microsoft Azure without having to consider where the services or application resources will be located. Knowledge of individual hardware characteristics and capacity measures is no longer important to the organization.
2. Flexible resource assignment
The capacity and resources available to cloud computing services can be increased or decreased, with costs adjusted according to actual consumption. This allows an organization to spin up a new offering with only minimal costs for the resources used and then to meet spikes or cyclic use patterns with increased capacity, paying for only the level of use needed.
This is similar to the way power companies supply power to individual organizations, billing each according to its individual use. For example, a new cloud application might experience a sudden increase in use following mention on a popular blog and require additional network bandwidth, data storage, server memory, or CPU power to keep up with the sudden increase in demand.
3. Network accessible
Cloud services are available via networked devices and technologies, facilitating rapid access by mobile customers and remote office locations. This provides an anywhere, anytime service model not possible in traditional data centers, where service downtime and local-area outages in power and networking can impact uptime.
Before a hurricane, for example, a cloud service provider could transfer operations from Florida to Washington transparently to the service consumer.
Because cloud providers can provision resources at need, it is possible to reduce power and cooling requirements during off-peak times, gaining economies of scale well beyond those available to single-tenanted hardware-based data services, which must stay on waiting for later use.
The flexibility in the cloud hosting location allows providers to shift operations without disruption to consumers. They can move data center activity north during summer months to save on cooling costs or transfer operations to areas with excess power production capability, such as Iceland.
Cloudy Skies Are Greening the Data Center
Cloud hosting supports green initiatives through the use of environmental cooling by transferring operations to cooler locations rather than requiring ever-larger refrigerated air systems to meet summer heat increases, reducing an organizations environmental footprint.
5. Managed through self-service on demand
After limits for resource availability are configured within the cloud providers systems, available resource capacity can be automatically expanded or managed by the client with minimal effort.
Bringing up a test server no longer requires access to the physical system, loading software, and configuring networking by hand; instead, the customer need only access their cloud provider and request a new resource allocation using the self-service user interface.