The Essence of Cloud Technology

The technological industry rolls with explanations and definitions of cloud. The definitions come from vendors who are cloud-washing their products, providers of cloud positioning their infrastructure, IT teams who are attempting to cloud-paint their virtualization efforts and from consultants even.


Essentially, cloud computing is a deployment model, which sets a new paradigm on how services are chosen, provided and billed. Consumers typically are computer-literate business entities, app developers and IT capacity planners. Technologies which make possible cloud computing include a shared pool of virtualized resources, internet access and the ability of supporting an elastic pool of services that could be turned on and off, depending on capacity demand. This is achieved via a combination of technology and capacity planning.


Simply, cloud is defined by three technologies and components, such as:

Billing for ordered services

  • Self-selection of services
  • Automated provisioning of services

The deployment components are made possible by three key enabling technologies, such as the web interface, virtualized shared resources and the ability of supporting elastic demand.

Cloud computing is differentiated by three vital consumer-facing criteria. First, the cloud deployment model assumes that service consumer is competent and could choose the right services as well as the money to pay for it. Neither of the assumptions hold true in a legacy first-generation deployment model. In a second-generation service provider model, both of the assumptions could be true, but often, the second-generation deployment model would include a considerable ‘authorization’ process since resources are finite and need consumption audits. Under the cloud deployment model, the process of choosing a service could include some automated policy enforcement to replace the process of legacy authorization.

The second criteria of cloud is the auto provisioning concept. Immediately, this eliminates procedural and approval overheads and delays while preventing technical configuration costs and delays as well. Consequently, this enables considerable savings on the cost of labor. Most important perhaps is that the satisfaction of consumers run rampant since requested resources are provided almost instantly following a request, or worst on the same day. The days are gone when IT departments say ‘no’ or ‘it will be difficult’. These days, IT says ‘Yes and this is what it will cost’. With cloud computing, IT no longer is the denier of services but instead the enabler.

The third major element of the cloud deployment model is the need of a formal billing. With first-generation deployment apps and platform and costs in general were unknown. Services costs often were a yearly transaction seen as overhead at budget time. In the second-generation deployment model, costs usually were charged back during service selection, and only in rare instances where they charged back at the service order level. Second-generation models typi8cally saw the same approach to first-generation deployments with an annual budgetary cross ‘overhead’ charge.


The relevance of cloud is its ability to provide consumers an automated capability to self-choose the service or resource they want, to have the service or resource made available almost right away, and to have the services billed to a consumer via a classic invoicing function. The enabling technologies which support the cloud deployment model include internet access or capability for choosing service and service delivery monitoring, compute and storage environment virtualization to support shared resource and planning skills and technology for supporting elastic resource allocations.

The importance of cloud should not be relegated to the background, since it plays an integral role in sustainability and organizations’ IT strategies. In other words, to improve business efficiency and processes, and at the same time minimize emissions of IT operations, a business should embrace cloud computing.



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