Cloud Computing Explained

A Convergence of Technologies

Cloud Computing came about with the convergence of technologies. Of course, you need hardware. Relatively inexpensive servers and storage makes data centers possible. Increased availability of high-speed Internet connections means these data centers can be located where it is most economical.

Of course, a data center alone does not constiture Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing is realized through the Cloud Computing Stack. The Cloud Computing Stack organizes the hardware/software of a data center into various service layers. These layers are organized into Cloud Computing Categories.

Data Center Example for Cloud Computing

Virtual machines/servers can be specified in the Cloud. A given Cloud may contain multiple servers/machines supporting various software/services. Connections to these services are made using Web Services that are the basis of application program interfaces (APIs) commonly used in Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing Application Program Interface (API)

For figures on this website, the following is notation used.

Cloud Computing Noatation

Any Organization Can Use Cloud Computing

Payment for Cloud Computing services is usually on some incremental basis. In other words, you pay for only what you use. This works for organization of most any size. It is possible that for smaller organization, Cloud Computing will allow the use of software that would normally be prohibitively expensive if the organization had to buy it and install it on their own server. For very small organizations, it might be possible to find Cloud Computing services that are free for low levels of usage.

Blurring of Services

It is possible to assemble a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that uses services from multiple Cloud providers along with services provided by systems internal to an organization. This results in a blurring of where the services actually reside. In fact, most often it does not matter where they reside for functionality. Location of services are often dictated governance issues such legal or security concerns, as opposed to technical issues.

Related Articles

More on the general topic: Cloud Computing Articles


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The Savvy Manager's Guide

Douglas K Barry is also the author of a book that explains Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and Cloud Computing in an easy-to-understand, non-technical manner.

Web Services, Service-Oriented Architectures, and Cloud Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide

Web Services, Service-Oriented Architectures, and Cloud Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide (Second Edition)

by with David Dick

This is a guide for the savvy manager who wants to capitalize on the wave of change that is occurring with Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and—more recently—Cloud Computing. The changes wrought by these technologies will require both a basic grasp of the technologies and an effective way to deal with how these changes will affect the people who build and use the systems in our organizations. This book covers both issues. Managers at all levels of all organizations must be aware of both the changes that we are now seeing and ways to deal with issues created by those changes.