Cloud computing is gradually becoming the new dominating service model for provisioning IT resources and services for both enterprises and, indeed, individuals. This applies equally to infrastructure resources, eg network servers and storage, platform architecture for developers, eg.NET and Java based platforms, enabling installations and instant application deployment and, software applications that can be accessed directly from the cloud or, more specifically, a cloud provider. These main categories of cloud computing services have been termed as "Infrastructure as a Services", Platform as a Service "and" Software as a Service ". . To give a few examples, some of the most common form of cloud services include Google Gmail, Facebook and YouTube. These are all free services that base their revenue structure more or less on advertising. Other services are enterprise level, and include Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Cloud and Go-Grid, to give an example.
Many are familiar with the early types of Application Service Provisioning (ASP) and hosting services that enterprises have used in the past, often with good results. People often tend to be confused about the differences between cloud computing, ASP and hosting. What does cloud computing essentially have or do that the other well known service models do not possess? There are clearly many components that these service models have in common, like simplification and centralization of infrastructure, Internet reliance and technology convergence, but there are some particular characteristics that cloud computing actually possesses additionally, including the following:
- Automation – eg provisioning, troubleshooting and configuration
- Virtualization – IT infrastructure becomes virtualized, improving utilization levels
- Self-service – users select, configure and modify resources and services themselves
- Pay-as-you-go – pay only for what you use, no upfront or minimum fees
- Federation and interoperability of clouds – in the future it will be possible to seamlessly go from one cloud to the other
These are some of the important hits that clearly distinguish cloud computing from the previous forms of remote IT service models. Additionally, cloud services encompass a much wider spectrum of services as it typically includes free services, as described, for individuals as well as paid for, enterprise level services. Finally, the utility style charging model in cloud computing is providing improved cost transparency as services are either free charge or costs transfer from capital expenditures to operational expenses.
Source by Olafur Ingthorsson