Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Definition of Cloud Computing

Part of the confusion with everyone understanding cloud computing, is every vendor has a different definition of cloud solutions based on the products they sell.  So if you talk to Amazon, Oracle, Hosting companies, etc. they each have their interpretation of cloud computing. So instead of giving another definition of cloud computing, I want to refer you to a standards definition of cloud computing from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  This standards draft includes definitions for Iaas, SaaS, PaaS, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, etc. Remember that cloud computing definitions and underlying technologies are constantly evolving.  So it's best to look at standards bodies for looking at fundamental definitions related to cloud computing.

A highlight of the NIST definition is:
  • The working definition of cloud computing described by NIST is “a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient and on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” The draft working definition also describes five key characteristics, three delivery models and four deployment models.

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