Cloud computing was a rare name in the corporate and commercial arena until 2006 when Amazon launched its ‘Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)’. Since then cloud computing has become popular day-by-day and gained the status of ‘the most reliable and necessary resources’ in the commercial world.

Cloud computing offers ease to scalability and elasticity for IT-enabled capabilities in a pay-per-use, or self-service way and safely transfers data from physical locations to the cloud that can be accessed remotely. The cloud models also have essential characteristics. Cloud providers and consumers can assess these characteristics either individually or collectively or both to consider the value offering of given cloud environments/platforms.

Some specific characteristics of cloud

  • On-demand Usage
  • Ubiquitous Access
  • Multitenancy
  • Resource Pooling
  • Elasticity
  • Measured Usage
  • Resiliency

On-demand Usage – This is also called ‘On-demand self-service usage’. It allows customers to access cloud-based IT resources unilaterally and offer them the freedom to self-provision such resources. Usage of the self-provisioned IT resources becomes automated once it is configured, and requires no human involvement. It enables the customers to constant monitoring of the server uptime, networks, and abilities.

Ubiquitous Access – Ubiquitous access, for a cloud service, is the ability to be widely available. Establishing ubiquitous access needs support for transport protocols, interfaces, a range of devices, and security. Also, the cloud service architecture, to enable this level of access, needs to be customised to the necessary needs and requirements of different cloud service consumers.

Multitenancy – Multitenancy is the characteristics of a software program that capacitate a program to serve different consumers or tenants individually from the same application/program or the same physical infrastructure. It usually relies on virtualisation technologies. The use of multitenancy empowers consumers to assign and reassign IT resources based on the cloud service consumer demands.

Resource Pooling – Resource pooling means to pool large-scale IT resources to serve multiple consumers. Cloud provider’s resource pool must be flexible enough to service multiple client requirements. Different virtual and IT resources are assigned and reassigned based on the consumer demand, generally followed by statistical multiplexing execution. Resource Pooling is often achieved through multitenancy.

Elasticity – An ability of a cloud to transparently scale IT resources since required in response to pre-determined/run-time conditions by the cloud consumer is the elasticity. It is a core justification for the adoption of cloud computing on the account of closely associated with Reduced Investment and Proportional Costs benefit. Cloud providers with vast IT resources offer the greatest range of elasticity.

Measured Usage – Measured Usage is nothing but an ability to keep track of the usage of IT resources by cloud consumers. It closely relates to the on-demand characteristics and follows a pay-per-use model that means the cloud consumers have to pay only for the IT resources actually used. Measured Usage is not limited to tracking to statistics or billing purposes but also encompasses the monitoring of IT resources and related usage reporting.

Resiliency – Resiliency means the ability to quickly recover from any disruptions. In computing terms, it is a form of failover that distributes redundant implementations of IT resources across physical locations. It is measured by how fast its servers, networks, databases restart and recover from damage/s. In resilient computing IT resources can be pre-configured to avoid disruptions, if one resource is found deficient, processing automatically handed over to the redundant implementations. The characteristic of resiliency can refer to redundant IT resources within the same cloud or across multiple clouds but in different physical locations. It increases both the reliability and availability of their applications.  

The Last Corner

Though cloud computing has various characteristics but together they serve a profitable IT resources available widely. They not only help businesses to enhance computational power but also to maintain their hold in the corporate arena in this competitive era. These characteristics play a dominant role in making it popular among various organisations and industries.

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