Cloud computing is no more a “wild west”. Their seems to be a consensus on what cloud is – And more importantly what cloud is NOT. So what’s the widely accepted definition of cloud computing? Well, It’s the NIST definition of cloud computing.
It has three pieces to it, Here they are:
Characteristics of a CLOUD
Delivery (/Consumption/Service) Model of CLOUD
Deployment Model for cloud
Please search for “NIST Definition of Cloud Computing” and you’ll get to a (latest version/draft) short PDF that is worth reading – takes just 10 odd minutes but super helpful!
For your convenience (and Mine) – Here’s a visualization of the “data” that’s in the NIST’s definition document:
NIST's Widely accepted definition of CLOUD COMPUTING
If you want fun way to remember the definition, please go to: Cloud Computing is AWESOME (OSSM) :: Defining Cloud Computing the Urban Dictionary style! (It’s goal is to help you remember the characteristics of cloud, and i make fun of NIST’s definition – not because it’s not great but it seems academic which may not be the best way to explain cloud to non-technical or business person. So a fun way to remember cloud helps you have a sophisticated discussion with someone who is not completely familiar with cloud. Hope that blog posts is of help too)
And That’s about it for this post. Your feedback is welcome!
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In second half of 2008, I had taken a class on Distributed systems. As a part of that class, We were asked to write a paper on the subject of our choice. I had chosen the subject that focused on answering: How is cloud different from traditional approaches? My aim was to figure out why was CLOUD getting all the “attention”. And i chose this topic because, at that time , I used to follow few blogs (including Gartner) at that time and almost all of them seemed to be “heavily promoting” cloud. So I asked myself “why is world going crazy about cloud?” “What makes cloud different from traditional approaches?” And I decided to find answers to this question and convert it into a term paper for the class. And during the term paper assignment, I got a traditional Hosting account and deployed one of my project there. And compared it with what literature on cloud computing had to say at that time. This approach was super helpful because I had a benchmark on what traditional hosting felt like and then what cloud computing enthusiast had to say about why is cloud better than traditional approaches.And after getting my head around that concept, it’s been fun following how “cloud” has evolved over time. One of the best ways to recap it is to analyze Garnter Hype cycle. To this end, Here’s a recap of where Gartner Places Cloud Computing (and its different flavors) on hype cycle from 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Here’s a recap:
2010: (Note the presence of different flavors of cloud on the hype cycle)