Chapter 2. What Is Cloud Computing?

If you look back to the Industrial Revolution and its impact on the world economy, the revolution itself did not take place overnight, but through waves of changes. If you move forward to the adoption of the Internet, the Internet has also developed through waves of changes. Cloud computing has the potential to be the next disruptive wave.

This chapter describes:

  • Cloud computing technology components

  • Cloud services delivery

  • Cloud varieties

  • Key drivers for adopting the cloud

  • The impact of cloud computing on the continuum of users

  • The impact of cloud computing on application developers

  • Key enablers that must evolve to break down current barriers for cloud computing to succeed

Cloud Computing Defined

Our definition of cloud computing is based on five attributes: multitenancy (shared resources), massive scalability, elasticity, pay as you go, and self-provisioning of resources.

Multitenancy (shared resources)

Unlike previous computing models, which assumed dedicated resources (i.e., computing facilities dedicated to a single user or owner), cloud computing is based on a business model in which resources are shared (i.e., multiple users use the same resource) at the network level, host level, and application level.

Massive scalability

Although organizations might have hundreds or thousands of systems, cloud computing provides the ability to scale to tens of thousands of systems, as well as the ability to massively scale bandwidth and storage space.


Users ...

Get Cloud Security and Privacy now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.