So, what really is “the cloud” or cloud computing?
Well we think “the cloud” is a term which can be used to describe services which are consumed over the internet. “The Cloud” really is the new term used to describe the internet for example “Hey John, can you get that application finished so we can push it up into the cloud”
We feel cloud computing services should bear the following characteristics;
- Infinitely Elastic – means you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of resources, you should just be able to keep consuming what cloud service you are using until you run out of money.
- Subscription Based – whatever service you are consuming, it’s paid per X per month, so it could be per user per month, or per X amount of CPU and memory per month but it’s generally in a monthly subscription.
- Consumption Based – based only on what you consume or what you want as guaranteed consumption. For example, if I have a virtual machine and I’m not paying a minimum amount for memory or CPU, then my monthly bill should only be what I used that month but obviously there is no guarantee. On the other hand, if I want a virtual server with a guaranteed minimum of 1GB of memory and 1Ghz of CPU then I will be charged for that whether I used all of those resources during that month or not.
- Opex – It’s based on an operational recurring expense, not CAPEX. Allows you to smooth out your spending over the year.
- The platform on which you are consuming your service has been enabled for multi-tenancy, if it’s not multi-tenanted then perhaps it’s just a managed service?
- The service must have some level of flexibility, for example you can switch on and off when you want to or change the service, change plans, add users, etc.
- End user Provisioning – you must have the ability to control the service you are using either via developer API’s or a web portal or some other management tool. Again, if you can’t control it yourself, are you just paying for a managed service?
We hope this clears a few things up for people. In our next post, we’ll explain Public, Private and Internal Clouds.