Cutting through the Hype with Cloud Computing Tutorials: Part 1 Defining Cloud Computing

Gartner released the “Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing 2011” report in late July of this year. Analysis by  Louis Columbus revealed that  “Gartner states that nearly every vendor who briefs them has a cloud computing strategy yet few have shown how their strategies are cloud-centric.”

One source of confusion – the lack of an official definition,  standards and readily available, clearly presented, independent cloud computing tutorials.

Infoworld writer  David Linthicum concluded,  “I think we’ve officially lost the war on defining the core attributes of cloud computing so that businesses and IT can make proper use of it.  It’s now in the hands of marketing organizations and PR firms who, I’m sure, will take the concept on a rather wild ride over the next few years.”

Gartner defined cloud computing as “a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies.”  A short, clear and yet broadly encompassing description.

Forrester Research defined cloud computing as “A standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via the Internet in a pay-per-use and self-service way.”

Easy to see how marketing organizations are able to wrap just about any internet provided pay per use IT service in the warm blanket of cloud computing.

Recently a commonly accepted definition emerged.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of  Commerce just completed version 1.0 of “Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap” in early July of 2011.

NIST defines cloud computing as “ a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.  This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.“

This and forthcoming cloud computing briefings will focus on the NIST definition of cloud computing.  Through exploring the “NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap version 1.0″ we’ll create a set of cloud computing tutorials.  Because applying the standards and guidelines contained in the 76 page roadmap provide a definitive basis for evaluating vendor offerings and assessing cloud computing implementation.

Our cloud computing tutorials  will touch on major elements of the NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap relevant to business and technical professionals.  We’ll go beyond the scope of the actual document where needed and provide more detailed explanations where required.  Using this approach we intend to provide some of the clearest and most comprehensive cloud computing tutorials available on the web.

In our next briefing we’ll start exploring the five essential characteristics of cloud computing.  So please subscribe for notification when published.

Questions or suggestions – comments welcome.


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