Cloud Computing Defined

Cloud Computing

To avoid the hype associated with fast-growing technologies, it is important to gain a fundamental understanding of what defines Cloud Computing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides guidance to help understand Cloud Computing. According to NIST, there are five characteristics for an offering to be considered a Cloud service:

Cloud Services are Rapid Elastic

A Cloud Service should automatically scale resources as needed. This provides businesses agility by growing as the need for additional capacity arises. This elasticity avoids the need for a business to build in excess capacity for unpredictable workloads, a capacity that may go unused at off-peak times.

On-Demand Self-Service

In addition to rapid elasticity access, Cloud Services should be simple so any user can quickly provision additional resources when needed. Removing the friction to ordering, provisioning, and configuring Cloud Services when needed empowers the workforce and avoids unnecessary downtime, while improving employee productivity.

Broad Network Access

Business Class Broadband networks provide affordable access to Cloud Services. Access across the Public Internet allows a common interface for multiple devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones. This provides employees the ability to work anywhere, anytime without restriction of geography.

Cloud Services are Measured Services

Many companies benefit from the predictable costs associated with the utility billing model of Cloud Services. A Cloud Service should bill for the amount used. This could be based on number of users, computing resources consumed, storage required and other measurements of usage. By building in usage monitoring, Cloud Service billing is simplified.

Resource Pooling

Resource pooling helps Cloud Service Providers scale. By sharing common system resources including hardware, software, operating system and application database, the cost of delivering Cloud Services is lower. For some companies or applications, a Private Cloud option provides additional security and reliability over resource pooling. With Private Cloud–versus the multi-tenant model–there is an additional price to pay.

Companies adopting Cloud Computing benefit from the scalability, easy access, and predictable costs made available by this utility approach to technology. In addition to savings, Cloud Computing offers the additional benefit of working anywhere at any time. Find out more about how you can benefit from Cloud Computing by contacting your technology advisor today.

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