What is the cloud?

"let's talk about your cloud"
Essential Characteristics

​On-demand Self-Service

Customers can provision IT capabilities such as user access, server time and network storage as needed.

Broad Network Access

IT capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote the use of any end point device.

Resource Pooling

The cloud provider’s infrastructure resources can be pooled to serve multiple customers (multi-tenanting), with different physical or virtual resources assigned according to demand.

Rapid Elasticity

IT capabilities can be rapidly provisioned to scale out quickly and released to scale in just as fast. This means you can purchase and provision resources in any quantity in a short timeframe.

Measured Service

Cloud systems and resources are measured so that they can be monitored, controlled and reported on, providing transparency for customers.

Main Cloud Services Models

​Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a common delivery model for many business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), management information systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) and service desk management.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a cloud services provides a platform and a solution stack as a service. The consumer creates the software and controls deployment and configuration settings. The provider provides the networks, servers, storage and management services. PaaS offerings also include application design, application development, testing and deployment.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud providers offer computers as physical or virtual machines (VMs) alongside other key resources such as security infrastructure and load balancers. IaaS provides these resources on demand from their large pools installed in data centers. For wide area connectivity, the Internet is used; or dedicated VPNs can be configured. IaaS services are billed on a utility computing basis, the cost reflects the amount of resources allocated and consumed.

Cloud Terminology

Private Cloud

Private clouds consist of infrastructure operated solely for a single organisation. Today, they are normally managed and hosted externally by a specialist service provider, which allows the organisation to benefit from less ‘hands-on’ management, leaving them to concentrate on the core of their business (usually an application or directly interfacing with customers). Undertaking a private cloud project requires the expertise to virtualise the business environment, and for the organisation to re-evaluate decisions about existing resources. When it is executed properly, private clouds can have a hugely positive impact on a business, both operationally and financially.

Community Cloud

Community clouds share infrastructure between several organisations and despite the somewhat misleading name, there is no cross-fertilisation or sharing of data because each organisation is segregated onto individual servers (virtual or physical). Community clouds are managed and hosted externally by a service provider and the costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud. It is however a more flexible solution and allows a business to better leverage cloud technology to suit their particular mode of operations.

Public Cloud

Public cloud applications, storage, and other resources are made available to the general public by a cloud service provider. The services are normally offered on a pay-per-user model and public cloud service providers own and operate the infrastructure. Access is achieved via the Internet.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds are a composition of public, community or private clouds that remain unique entities but are networked together. Deployments of this type usually require both on-site resources and off-site (remote) server-based infrastructure. Hybrid clouds provide the flexibility of in-house applications with the fault tolerance and scalability of cloud based services.

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