Management @en

How can you identify true Cloud Computing?

People often ask me, how they can identify a true Cloud Computing offering. Often they say: “Hey, our data is processed by a service provider in his data center. Well, we are using the Cloud, right?”

Hm, Careful! Many marketing departments of webhosting provider abused Cloud Computing in the last month, whereby a dilution of the term has taken place. What you have known as a “Managed Server” before is now a “Cloud Server”. Eventually they just change the badge.

To identify a true Cloud Computing offering, you shall take care of the following characteristics:

  • On Demand:
    I obtain the resources at the moment, when I actually need them. Afterwards I just “give them back”.
  • Pay as you Go:
    I just pay for the resources which I am actually using, when I am using them. Thereby it will be deducted per user, per gigabyte or per minute/hour.
  • No basic fee:
    Using a Cloud Computing offering I do not have to pay a monthly/annual basic fee!
  • High Availability:
    When I need the resources I can use them exactly at this time.
  • High Scalability:
    The resources adapt to my needs. This means that they either grow with my needs, if I need more performance or they become smaller if the requirements decrease.
  • High Reliability:
    Resources I am using during a specific period of time are actually available when I need them.
  • Blackbox:
    I don’t have to care about the things inside the Cloud offering. I just use the service over an open, well documented API.
  • Automation:
    After the establishment regarding my needs, I do not have to take any interventions manually, while using the offering. That means, I do not have to change the performance of the Server or the size of the storage space manually. The Cloud provider allocates capabilities (like tools etc.) for automation.
  • Access via the Internet:
    This is discussible! However, the cost advantage which is obtained by Cloud Computing is obsolete if an expensive exclusive leased line is required, for example to use the resources of a provider.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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