Chapter 9. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a term that creates the same confusion as other popular modern buzzwords, such as Big Data, AI, and Agile. When a term gets popular enough, it eventually means many things to many people. Here is a precise definition. The cloud is the delivery of on-demand computing services where you pay for what you use, just like any other utility: natural gas, electricity, or water.

The top benefits of cloud computing include cost, speed, global scale, productivity, performance, reliability, and security. Let’s break down each one of these.


There is no up-front cost and resources can be precisely metered to meet demand.


The cloud offers self-service, so an expert user can leverage the resources to build solutions quickly.

Global scale

All major cloud providers have a global scale, which means services can be provisioned all over the world to meet demand in a geographic region.


Many tasks, such as racking servers, configuring network hardware, and physically securing a data center, no longer exist. Companies can focus on building core intellectual property versus reinventing the wheel.


Unlike hardware you own, cloud hardware is continually upgraded, meaning that the fastest and latest hardware is always available on demand. All of the hardware is also joined together on low-latency and high-bandwidth infrastructure, creating an ideal high-performance environment.


The core architecture ...

Get Python for DevOps now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.