What is Cloud Computing ?

The Definition of the Cloud Computing is depending on what you serve/use of the Cloud Technology.
So If you are used storage service; then the Cloud will be a free space on the Internet that is accessible to you whenever you want.
Buy if you used MapReduce to process some data; then the definition will be A computing Power that serves you to process Data.
all of these definitions are not describing the real Cloud Computing.

The definition of Cloud Computing from My perspective is:

Computing Services On-Demand.

Yes. it is as simple as these words, and I will proof it at the end of the article.

Cloud Computing as defined by ” NIST ” -National Institute of Standards and Technology- is :

a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

NIST identifies five Essential Cloud Computing Characteristics:

  1. On-demand self-service
  2. Broad network access.
  3. Resource pooling.
  4. Rapid elasticity.
  5. Measured service.

And This is My Explanation for these Characteristics.

  • On-demand self-service means that Anybody can provision Any service at Any time without the interaction of Anybody.
  • Broad network Access means that Client can access his provisioned services using heterogeneous -varied- platforms.
  • Resource pooling means that the computing resources can be dynamically assigned and reassigned to the consumers according to consumers Demands.
  • Rapid elasticity means that the cloud provisions 100% of the consumers requests as soon as they Demands it.
  • Measured service means that Cloud systems automatically control and optimize “resource use” by leveraging a metering capability appropriate to the type of service -use metering capability to maximum advantage-.

The Cloud Computing providers offer their services according to several fundamental models:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS).
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS).
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
  • Software as a Service is providing the consumer with Applications that are running on a Cloud Infrastructure. (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Platform as a Service is enabling the consumer to deploy Web applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure . (AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google app engine)
  • Infrastructure as a Service is enabling the consumer to provision computing resources on-demand and giving him the ability to use these resources to build his own environment. (AWS EC2).

This Image describes what is Cloud Computing.

Now, we have reached the end of the article so I have to prove my perspective of cloud computing Definition.

if you read the Characteristics section carefully you will find that three of the five characteristics are depending on the consumer Demands, and the last characteristic was about Measuring the demanded services, so Cloud Computing key characteristic is to be demanded.

And if we checked how these huge computing power can be served to the consumers we will find that the infrastructure, software, and platform have to be served as services as per the service model.

so this is the reason of defining Cloud Computing as “Computing Services On-Demand


  1. “The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing”
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

Original Post By me at LinkedIn.com


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