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Here are some definitions that have circulated in the blogosphere;

Gartner : Cloud Computing is a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided "as a service" across the internet to multiple customers

Forrester : A pool of abstracted, highly scalable, and managed infrastructure capable of hosting end-customer applications and billed by consumption

Vikipedia : A style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them

The Cloud Security Alliance (2009) declares that the “cloud describes the use of a collection of services, applications, information, and infrastructure comprised of pools of compute, network, information, and storage resources. These components can be rapidly orchestrated, provisioned, implemented and decommissioned, or scaled up and down”

NIST’s (USA National Institute of Standards and Technology) definition;
Cloud computing is a model for enabling 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 promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.

 

Deployment Models

Private cloud :is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise. Private cloud might be a managed private cloud which may exists off premise. When a service provider uses public cloud resources to create the private cloud with its own virtual private network, the result is called a virtual private cloud. It is a group of dedicated servers just for your company in the public cloud. You have total control of all aspects of the software and operating systems on the servers which provide the cloud services by public cloud provider.

Public cloud :The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services.

Community cloud : The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be managed by the organizations or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.

Hybrid cloud : The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (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).

 


 
 

The ultimate goals of the Cloud environment are:

  • More efficient use of resources, whether financial, physical, or human
  • Improved agility and elasticity, removing the IT barrier from business efficiency
  • Expanded service orientation, aligning IT and business goals more directly

The cloud has enormous potential to unleash economies. Economies are accessible through;

  • multi-tenancy – shared infrastructure that allows many customers to share the costs of a massive infrastructure with capabilities they may not be able to afford otherwise.
  • through pay as you go – the ability to only pay for what is used. Moreover, the cloud can unleash opportunities for accessing and managing compute – whether applications, operating systems, or storage – in more flexible and efficient ways.

 

Cloud Computing Service and Deployment Models

 

History of Cloud computing

 

Eucalyptus

 
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