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.
I don’t have to care about the things inside the Cloud offering. I just use the service over an open, well documented API.
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 However, the cost advantage which is obtained by Cloud Computing is obsolete if an expensive exclusive leased line is required, for example to use the resources of a provider.