CLOUD COMPUTING

Introduction to “☁ Dictionary”

This new Section or Blog Category is dedicated to a new project generated by the permanent needs for clear definition and clarification of ambiguities. ☁ Dictionary will host most popular names, concepts, abbreviations, and cloud history players. Will be a dictionary section, but don’t expect traditional descriptions ordered in alphabetical hierarchy. It is more interesting to post new definitions, coming from most popular terms established by simple statistic and content conjectural criteria. For a more accurate and objective content ☁ Dictionary will try to present multiple definitions, keeping historical context and paternity. Due to templates constraints I have limitations to better offer an alphabetical search criteria, but  I’m sure this problem will be solved in the future. Please enjoy ☁ Dictionary and take your time to contribute with comments and improvement suggestions for your most familiar terms.

 

CLOUD COMPUTING

radu cloudCloud Computing is first of all a concept, a new way peoples could IT to solve their current business & life problems in other ways and with other resources than the traditional computing models. Cloud Computing could be in the same time a new computing model, a new technology world, and a new digital behavior for anyone. Here is a selection of most representative definitions for Cloud Computing

 

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies)

“ Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”

 

IDC

“Cloud Computing is an emerging IT development, deployment and delivery model, enabling real-time delivery of products, services and solutions over the Internet.”

 

Gartner

According Gartner high experience in the cloud research, the term “cloud computing” is being loosely applied and defined differently, and it’s creating a lot of confusion in the market. In September 2008, Gartner defines cloud computing “as a style of computing in which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” using Internet technologies to multiple external customers”. Few months later, Gartner defines cloud computing “as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies”. Where is the difference? Gartner has removed “massively scalable” and replaced it with “scalable and elastic” as an indicator that the important characteristic of scale is the ability to scale up and down, not just to massive size.

CIO

“Cloud computing is the dynamic provisioning of IT capabilities (hardware, software, or services) from third parties over a network.  Cloud computing is computing model, not a technology. In this model of computing, all the servers, networks, applications and other elements related to data centers are made available to IT and end users via the Internet, in a way that allows IT to buy only the type and amount of computing services that they need. The cloud model differs from traditional outsourcers in that customers don’t hand over their own IT resources to be managed.”

 

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 Image source: cloud☁mania, 2013

 

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GARTNER’s DEFINITIONS ABOUT CLOUD (4)

Let’s continue our “Cloud Definition” Journey to better term of cloud-computing, making a criss-cross between different definitions of cloud. It’s easy to see the term “cloud computing” is being loosely applied and defined differently in the market by users and vendors. The better understandings of cloud perspectives and properly setting of clear expectations are key factors in cloud adoption and migration results. This time I’m posting the Gartner definitions and specific perspectives about cloud.

cloud definitionsAccording Gartner high experience in the cloud research, the term “cloud computing” is being loosely applied and defined differently, and it’s creating a lot of confusion in the market. In September 2008, Gartner defines cloud computing “as a style of computing in which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” using Internet technologies to multiple external customers”. Few months later, Gartner defines cloud computing “as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies”. Where is the difference? Gartner has removed “massively scalable” and replaced it with “scalable and elastic” as an indicator that the important characteristic of scale is the ability to scale up and down, not just to massive size.

However, there have been different perceptions about what is included in cloud computing. “The term cloud computing has come to mean two very different things: a broader use that focuses on ‘cloud,’ and a more-focused use on system infrastructure and virtualization,” said David Mitchell Smith, VP and Gartner Fellow. “Mixing the discussion of ‘cloud-enabling technologies’ with ‘cloud computing services’ creates confusion.”

One of the major views of cloud computing in the market is assuming the cloud image viewed from the Internet/Web/software as a service (SaaS) perspective. The focus is more on the cloud than on the computing with the bold accent on the access to services from anywhere. This cloud is a global-class phenomenon and a high-level concept that can refer to a range of services extending from system infrastructure (for example, compute services and storage services) through applications (for example, CRM) and business processes (for example, payroll services). Gartner’s definition is along these lines, with the off-premises nature of cloud services being the point of reference, and applicability to intra-enterprise use as a secondary effect.

The second popular interpretation is built on technologies basement, where virtualization and automation are the main leitmotif, and all spot lights are focused on the computing. This perspective is an extension of traditional data center approaches and can be applied to entirely internal enterprise systems with no use of external off-premises capabilities provided by a third party.

“Although these perspectives are different, there is a connection between them. Any provider of cloud computing services must have an environment that includes an infrastructure to support their delivery. Virtualization often is used to implement this underlying infrastructure to support delivery of the cloud computing services,” said David Mitchell Smith. “Cloud system infrastructure services are a subset of cloud computing, but not the entire picture.”

Gartner recommends that users clearly separate the consideration of cloud computing and cloud computing services from the use of cloud computing-related concepts and technologies for the creation of internal systems. Both perspectives (services and technologies) are valuable and should be pursued.

5 Cloud Attributes according Gartner

Gartner identified the five attributes of cloud computing. By using these attributes, it is possible to see how strongly a cloud solution (or service) adheres to the cloud computing model.

“When approaching cloud computing, providers of cloud services and potential consumers of cloud services must examine the attributes of cloud computing to determine whether their services will deliver the expected outcomes,” said Daryl Plummer, managing VP and Chief Gartner Fellow. “If a service is not scalable and elastic, then it may not be shareable enough. If it is not metered by use, then it may not allow for flexible pricing. Support for more of the attributes opens the door to a great value proposition to the consumer, and greater flexibility and potential cost reduction for the provider.

“We recognize that services may adhere to some attributes more effectively than others,” also said David Mitchell Smith. “The degree to which the service exhibits all these characteristics indicates how much it adheres to the cloud computing model. One must examine a combination of these attributes to evaluate cloud services. Focusing on one attribute in isolation is not recommended.”

The five attributes of cloud computing according Gartner are:

1.    Service-Based: Consumer concerns are abstracted from provider concerns through service interfaces that are well-defined. The interfaces hide the implementation details and enable a completely automated response by the provider of the service to the consumer of the service. The service could be considered “ready to use” or “off the shelf” because the service is designed to serve the specific needs of a set of consumers, and the technologies are tailored to that need rather than the service being tailored to how the technology works.

2.    Scalable and Elastic: The service can scale capacity up or down as the consumer demands at the speed of full automation. Elasticity is a trait of shared pools of resources. Scalability is a feature of the underlying infrastructure and software platforms. Elasticity is associated with not only scale but also an economic model that enables scaling in both directions in an automated fashion. This means that services scale on demand to add or remove resources as needed.

3.    Shared: Services share a pool of resources to build economies of scale. IT resources are used with maximum efficiency. The underlying infrastructure, software or platforms are shared among the consumers of the service (usually unknown to the consumers). This enables unused resources to serve multiple needs for multiple consumers, all working at the same time.

4.    Metered by Use: Services are tracked with usage metrics to enable multiple payment models. The service provider has a usage accounting model for measuring the use of the services, which could then be used to create different pricing plans and models. These may include pay-as-you go plans, subscriptions, fixed plans and even free plans. The implied payment plans will be based on usage, not on the cost of the equipment. These plans are based on the amount of the service used by the consumers, which may be in terms of hours, data transfers or other use-based attributes delivered.

5.    Uses Internet Technologies: The service is delivered using Internet identifiers, formats and protocols, such as URLs, HTTP, IP and representational state transfer Web-oriented architecture. Many examples of Web technology exist as the foundation for Internet-based services. Google’s Gmail, Amazon.com’s book buying, eBay’s auctions and Lolcats’ picture sharing all exhibit the use of Internet and Web technologies and protocols.

Sources: Gartner.com, 2008, 2009

Photo Source: cloudcomputing.sys-con.com

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CLOUD DEFINITIONS: LET’S START WITH NIST (1) – cloud☁mania, 14 September 2013

CIO CLOUD DEFINITIONS (2) – cloud☁mania, 17 September 2013

IDC CLOUD DEFINITIONS (3) – cloud☁mania, 18 September 2013

GARTNER VP DARYL PLUMMER ABOUT CLOUD – cloud☁mania, 14 October 2013

GARTNER VP DARYL PLUMMER ABOUT CLOUD

VIP About Cloud

Daryl Plummer, Managing VP & Gartner Fellow, is unanimity recognised as a master in the absolute concise and accurate observation.

DarylPlummer-2Here are very interesting personal considerations related to six key points about cloud technologies and cloud adoption, delivered as a formidable ‘state of the cloud’ report during the last traditional Gartner Symposium.

1. “If you have to know how it works, it’s not cloud” – one of the most concise and comprehensive definition of cloud… If a customer could know anything about how is working services in the cloud, then it’s not a real cloud.

2. “There is no such thing as a cloud – there are only cloud services” – any customer should know cloud is not universal panacea, and everything could be in his benefit is related to services on the cloud.

3. “Don’t put your eggs in one cloud basket because that’s the road to disaster” – paraphrase after an old popular proverb, this statement is a recommendation to not migrate all data and all applications on the same platform provided by the same vendor.

4. “Private cloud is a great first step to the public cloud, but not a great last step” – from the practice is a reality: many companies is starting cloud adoption with a private cloud implementation, what is the result of virtualization progress, but this should be not the last movement. Any part of infrastructure that could be migrated in public cloud will grow the cost reduction benefits.

5. “IaaS is easy, but not the best value” – starting from any architecture basement, implementation of infrastructure-as-a-services is the most elementary step in private cloud adoption, but this should be not the last step. Other cloud formula like platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service could offer more benefits “We’re going to be spending more on PaaS and SaaS,” Plummer says.

6. “Cloud computing will be just computing by 2018” – this is becoming more and more clear. According Plummer predictions 2016 will be “the defining year of the cloud.” Just like personal clouds became popular in 2013, the convergence between the main trends like the Internet of Everything, 3D printing, and smart machines will be the cloud engine generators in 2016. “Cloud is the place where big data really happens,” says Plummer. In the same way we already forget to use consecrated terms like e-business, complete assimilated now with classic business concept, the same will be the future of cloud computing, which by 2018 will be just like old computing notion.

Source: Personal interpretation of the original statements from CIO.com

IDC CLOUD DEFINITIONS (3)

Searching more interesting cloud definitions let’s take a look to IDC, which is coming from a long period of IT industry research and cumulated value expertise. IDC research is contemporary with major technology evolution, giving to IDC analysts a very comprehensive perception of cloud computing phenomenon. To better reflect this, I will show some cloud definitions made on IDC Exchange blog in 2008, and few actual comments extracted from an IDC Market Spotlight from the beginning of 2013.

As a research and analyse company, IDC takes market definitions and taxonomies very seriously, making difference between the real market trends and simple particularly developments. From IDC perspective, “speaking about cloud computing most people talk about on-line delivery and consumption models for business and consumer services. These services include IT service – like software-as-a-service, storage, and server capacity as a service, but also many, many non-IT business and consumer services”.

Starting from the end-user perspective, the most majority of these online services are not “computing” processing, being simple activities related to shopping, banking, selling, collaborating, communicating, etc. So, all these services customers are not explicitly buying “cloud computing”, but the “cloud services” that are enabled by cloud computing environments. “Cloud computing is hidden underneath the business or consumer service”, IDC proposing a clear different definition between:

Cloud Services = Consumer and Business products, services and solutions that are delivered and consumed in real-time over the Internet

And

Cloud Computing = an emerging IT development, deployment and delivery model, enabling real-time delivery of products, services and solutions over the Internet.

Resuming, any consumer service delivered and consumed over the Internet in real-time is virtually a cloud service. Cloud computing is the IT environment that enables the development, delivery and consumption of cloud services. Any discussion of cloud computing must start with a discussion of what the attributes of cloud services are, and what attributes cloud computing environments need to enable…

Starting from these, cloud computing off-premises approach could look like this: “On the surface, cloud computing is really nothing new — a service provider delivers technology infrastructure or software resources that are hosted or located offsite with user access through a high-speed Internet connection. Web hosting and remotely hosted email are typical examples of cloud computing and, like remote storage, were being used by many midsize firms long before cloud computing became a popular term.”

IDC Cloud DefinitionWhat’s different now from IDC perspective “is that specific offerings are being presented in a very efficient, shared way that effectively pushes operational economies down to the user. Also different are three important elements that will encourage adoption: the quality of remotely hosted offerings, the ease with which they can be implemented, and the almost ubiquitous nature of high-speed Internet connections that make effective implementation possible.”

Very interesting is also IDC classification of the basic cloud services categories: cloud applications, cloud platforms, and cloud infrastructure, which are totally different from NIST descriptions for the same categories. According IDC, the first two categories are included under the general heading of “software as a service” (SaaS) as is the system infrastructure software part of cloud infrastructure (see Figure)

IDC’s definition of cloud computing is based on the following attributes:

  • Shared, standard service — built for a market (public), not a single customer, using standard browsers and underlying technology
  • Solution packaged — a “turnkey” offering, integrates required resources
  • Self-service — administration, provisioning; may require some “on-boarding” support
  • Use-based pricing — supported by service metering
  • Accessible via the Internet/IP — ubiquitous (authorized) network access

Concluding, according IDC the most basic attribute is that cloud resources are designed to meet a general market need rather than a specific customer need. Private cloud solutions can be customized, but they still rely on basic solutions to begin with. The shared aspect of capabilities makes the use of standardized architecture and technologies understandable and also sets the stage for innovation by service providers.

Sources: IDC eXchange and IDC Market Spotlight

Photo Source: IDC Market Spotlight

CLOUD DEFINITIONS: LET’S START WITH NIST

Ignoring the opacity of many peoples to come with coherent argument pro-, and against cloud, in the last months I was bad surprised to see how fundamental different are the cloud computing concept understanding. Starting from this, the lack of coherence in basically point of view is not generating progress, being the hidden source for a lot of confusions.

In this context and because the main purpose of the content of cloud☁mania is to be a reliable source for cloud alphabetization, I hope nobody will consider boring  a special cloud ABC blog category dedicated to cloud definitions.

As everybody is agreeing cloud computing is a continuous evolving paradigm, the National Institute for Standards and Technologies (NIST) definitions are officially recognized as more professional source for characterization of the most important aspects of cloud computing, serving in the same time as a rigorous reporting frame for broad comparisons of cloud services and deployment strategies.

The NIST definition of cloud computing:

“ Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”

cloud questionsEssential Characteristics:

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Service Models:

Software as a Service (SaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

Deployment Models:

Private cloud – The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Community cloud – The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Public cloud – The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.

Hybrid cloud – The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).

Sources: National Institute for Standards and Technologies

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