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Defining Cloud Computing

Just like "Web 2.0" it's an overloaded phrase with tons of connotations and many attempts at definition

Yan Pritzker's Blog

The term Cloud Computing is on the rise according to Google Trends.. But what does it all mean? Just like "Web 2.0" it's an overloaded phrase with tons of connotations and many attempts at definition. While perusing a cloud blog by James Urquhart, I was inspired to try to define the term myself. So here's what cloud computing means to me.

Here goes:

  • Clouds are vast resource pools with on-demand resource allocation. The degree of on-demandness can vary from phone calls to web forms to actual APIs that directly requisition servers. I tend to consider slow forms of requisitioning to be more like traditional datacenters, and the quicker ones to be more cloudy. A public facing API is a must for true clouds.

  • Clouds are virtualized. On demand requisitioning implies the ability to dynamically resize resource allocation or moving customers from one physical server to another transparently. This is all difficult or impossible without virtualization.

  • Clouds tend to be priced like utilities (hourly, rather than per-resource), and I think we’ll see this model catching on more and more as computing resources become as cheap and ubiquitous as water, electricity, and gas (well, maybe not gas). However, I think this is a trend, not a requirement. You can certainly have clouds that are priced like pizza, per slice.

[shameless plug] check out Elastic Server On-Demand.


More Stories By Yan Pritzker

Yan Pritzker is a software developer and a "startup guy." He is currently Senior developer at CohesiveFT working on
elasticserver.com. He enjoys expressive languages where you can stick to ideas (Ruby) and dislikes languages that make you care about what the computer wants (C). He is the founder of Planypus, a place to share plans with your friends (http://planyp.us).

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