This will no doubt be tweaked over the years to come, but I thought I would share my own personal definition of what the concept of cloud computing is today.
“Cloud Computing refers to a virtual shared IT infrastructure where resources are provisioned as required from a shared pool of computer, storage and network on a pay per use basis via the Internet or WAN.”
Alternatively Wikipedia offers the following definition (Retrieved 5th August 2011 from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing) “Cloud computing refers to the logical computational resources (data, software) accessible via a computer network (through WAN or Internet etc.), rather than from a local computer.”
My employer HP define it as “a delivery model for technology-enabled services that provides on-demand access to an elastic pool of shared computing assets.” from Finding the right cloud solutions for your organization,
Gartner defines cloud computing as a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided as a service to customers using Internet technologies (Retrieved August 8th 2011 from http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/cloud-computing/).
So lets dissect these and dig out the common denominator between the three different definitions. The common theme or series of words are
“Shared, Instant, scalable and accessible”.
Behind all these definitions, you’ll see a lot of supporting detail that give a broader understanding of what the cloud really is. I think the common themes really boil down to:
- Instantly available – services that can be made immediately available
- Scalability & elasticity – both are enablers of resources becoming instantly available. Without the cloud’s scalability, the whole speed aspect of the cloud goes away.
- Shared resources – services that run within a set of shared resources – infrastructure or applications – that gain the benefit of multi-tenancy.
- Accessibility – services that are processed over the Internet to the end user.
Private Cloud A private cloud refers to a cloud computing environment which offers services within a single enterprise organisation and it’s firewall but may be hosted internally or externally to the organisation.
Public Cloud A public cloud refers to a cloud computing environment made available to the general public using the Internet and is external to the 0rganisation’s firewall that owns the environment
Hybrid Cloud A hybrid cloud refers to a computing environment that combines both private and public cloud computing environments.
Agree? Please comment and share your definitions, I’d love to read! There are more exciting posts to follow this one, particularly around Hybrid Cloud the many cloud offerings that HP have in this space. But for now, we’ll save it for another time