What’s in a Cloud, you ask?

Love is in the air, eh? Well, attitude is in the Cloud. That’s what. The Cloud, as it made its debut, received much skeptic looks and controversies with respect to its usability, its meaning and how far enterprises are going to go to accept it. Well, like any other genuine star, the Cloud survived the criticisms and the gossips and rose up with attitude.
So, what’s in a Cloud?
charaterstics of cloud
The characteristics that make up the Cloud are many, but it condenses to five elemental characteristics, as specified in the NIST Definition of Cloud. Let’s have a look at them:
1. 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.”
Very much like how we don’t require human interaction while signing up for an e-mail account, our social networking accounts. So why should the databases and servers be any different.
2. 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).”
We should be thankful of being born into a generation where we can access information anywhere, any time, on any device! I love this fact – and the Cloud is making this even more pleasant.
3. 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.”
Car pooling comes to mind instantly, and somehow it’s like using the resource at hand at full capacity – making it a multi-tenant model. Our account’s information isn’t kept on a single server at a particular location, but instead many resources (machines) have it for easy retrieval.
4. 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.”
Talk about implementing the demand-supply relationship at its best – increasing supply with increase in demand and then stopping the supply without further ado as the demand drops. Rapid Elasticity, alright!
5. 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.”
This is like an ethereal gift of a characteristic because why pay when you’re not using. This works something like the utility companies. Good for everyone – the provider, the consumer and also the environment!
The aura of grandeur that the Cloud has around it or driving it around is what makes it today’s topic of interest. I, personally, find the Cloud to be quite a charmer and its attitude towards data, storage, networking and connecting is what makes the Cloud. Yes, that’s what makes the Cloud.