Chapter 2. Assessing the Value Proposition


  • Discovering the attributes that make cloud computing unique

  • Applying cloud computing when it is the best option

  • Measuring the costs associated with cloud computing systems

  • Learning about Service Level Agreements and Licensing

In this chapter, the various attributes of cloud computing that make it a unique service are described. These attributes—scalability, elasticity, low barrier to entry, and a utility type of delivery—completely change how applications are created, priced, and delivered. I describe the factors that have led to this new model of computing. Early adopters of these services are those enterprises that can best make use of these characteristics.

To get a sense for the value of cloud computing, this chapter compares it to on-premises systems. From this perspective, a number of benefits for cloud computing emerge, along with many obstacles. I describe these factors in some detail. Aside from technological reasons, behavior considerations associated with cloud adoption are discussed.

Cloud computing is particularly valuable because it shifts capital expenditures into operating expenditures. This has the benefit of decoupling growth from cash on hand or from requiring access to capital. It also shifts risk away from an organization and onto the cloud provider.

This chapter describes how to begin to measure the costs of cloud computing and some of the tools that you can use to do so. The concept of optimization known as ...

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