The benefits of cloud computing drive more organizations to use cloud computing as a key part of their IT infrastructure.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides the following 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 (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.”
The essential characteristics of cloud computing are:
A public cloud is formed when a cloud provider makes computing resources publicly available over the Internet or other broad network channels. In a public cloud, setup for a consumer is usually quick and easy. Users pay for the resources they use, rather than for direct hardware. Some providers also charge a subscription fee. The cloud can also provide more resources, meaning customers do not have to install additional software or hardware.
One major concern for many organizations using the public cloud is data security and governance. A private cloud resolves this issue. A private cloud describes a computing infrastructure privately held by an organization. It has capabilities similar to a public cloud but is completely internal and so could be considered more secure based on an organization’s regulatory and compliance requirements. Virtualization provides many cloud-like resource allocation features. Additional cloud management tools can be used to build a private cloud.
Various studies conducted by IT analyst firms show that organizations want to use multiple cloud platforms across both public and private clouds resulting in a potentially complex multicloud strategy. As Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of products and operations of Dell Technologies, said, “Cloud is not a destination; it’s an operating model."