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What Defines a Cloud Computing Solution?

Posted by QuoteColo on October 15, 2013 - Updated on October 14, 2013

what defines a cloud computing solution

A lot has been made of what Cloud computing is or what Cloud computing isn’t. While the majority of the public either understands Cloud computing solutions in terms of the applications they use on their daily basis to stream music, surf social media networks or stream video content, the majority of the public doesn’t understand what defines Cloud computing. Due to this, we are going to take the next few hundred words to chat about Cloud computing criteria.

The Basis for Cloud Computing Criteria

The basis for what defines a Cloud is virtualization. Virtualization, as the name sounds, is the process of virtualizing physical computing resources. In traditional computing models, machines were/are leased out to renters. For a substantial monthly cost, companies would lease physical computers and servers to handle their IT needs.

With the advent of virtualization technologies, firms gained the ability to lower the cost of IT solutions by taking a physical computing environment (operating systems, resources, display, interfaces) and virtualizing them through using a variety of virtualization technologies.

Cloud Computing Criteria: Virtualization Technologies

The basis for Cloud computing is virtualization. Currently, the most widely used virtualization platforms are KVM, OpenVZ, Hyper-V and Xen. While each technology has its own use and each virtualization solution has its own benefits, at the end of the day the virtualization solution a company chooses to deploy to create a Cloud environment tends to be based on what their internal team of IT engineers knows how to troubleshoot better.

Through the use of various virtualization technologies, whereas once IT leasing once meant the expensive leasing of physical computing hardware which then required an IT management team to troubleshoot onsite solutions, virtualization streamlines IT needs by removing management of services from a leasing company to a hosting firm.

That said, the other major Cloud computing criteria comes in the form of global access.

The Cloud Is Everywhere

One of the largest aspects of the Cloud and what defines Cloud computing criteria is the ability for a consumer to access their Cloud bases solutions from anywhere in the world with a solid Internet connection. With Cloud deployments serving as virtualized infrastructures, for clients to access their applications, a constant Internet connection is needed. The basic idea of the Cloud is simple: regardless of location, consumers can access their applications via an Internet connection.

Having global data access impacts different consumers in different ways. For private consumers, global data access to Cloud solutions means consumers can stream their favorite bands through Spotify or view the newest episode of Breaking Bad via Netflix. On the other hand, when it comes to corporate use of Cloud services ad applications, this means company employees can access vital corporate data anywhere in the world by way of applications stored in a private Cloud.

Private vs. Public

The last defining cloud computing criteria is who can access that given Cloud. Access is broken up into public Cloud computing solutions and private Cloud solutions. The major difference between public and private Clouds is general public access versus select encryption key access.

Within a public Cloud, the public has the ability to access Cloud based solutions. While we have mentioned Spotify and Netflix in this article as examples of public Cloud solutions, another very well known public Cloud service is Gmail. Gmail, or Google’s Cloud based e-mail solution, gives the market access to e-mail services which aren’t stored on their local hard drive. Like most public Cloud solutions, Gmail is a free service accessible by anyone with an Internet connection.

On the other hand, the private Cloud is an encrypted corporate Cloud structure. The private Cloud is deployed by a company behind encrypted firewalls accessible by only those with the correct access keys. This means private Cloud solutions tend to be deployed by corporations and companies in the hopes of storing and utilizing vital company information without it leaking out to the Internet as a whole.

While we haven’t covered every aspect of Cloud solutions here, this article should serve as a general basis for Cloud Computing criteria and what defines the varying elements of the Cloud.

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