“You know the cloud?” once asked the great Jason Segel. “Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a f****** mystery.”
Ah, an expression so poetic, so eloquent, so profound. But maybe Jason is onto something (yes, Jason and I are on a first name basis) -- it does seem like today an ominous “cloud” looms overhead, filtering out those in-the-know from those-who-pretend-to-be-in-the-know.
So what the heck is the cloud and why is there so much commotion about it and what do we all have to do so we can we all be in-the-know?
Luckily for us, the “Cloud” actually isn’t all that complex in its most basic forms. This week’s Guide answers four essential cloud-questions (what is it, how big is it, what’s the big deal about it, and how does it work). Some “cloud-y” words are explained below and this awesome infographic (via Mashable.com) gives a visual idea of just how big the cloud is. So, skim through the Guide and in no time, we won’t have to pretend anymore.
Mystery solved, Jason.
- Joanna & BRCDology
PS. No-holds-barred next week, as everything is going to be “out in the Open.” Stay tuned as the Guide tackles OpenStack and OpenDaylight.
Cloud Application: A software application that is never installed on a local machine — it’s always accessed over the Internet. The “top” layer of the Cloud Pyramid where “applications” are run and interacted with via a web-browser. Cloud Applications are tightly controlled, leaving little room for modification. Examples include: Gmail or SalesForce.com.
Cloud as a Service (CaaS): A cloud computing service that has been opened up into a platform that others can build upon.
Cloud Client: Computing device for cloud computing. Updated version of thin client.
Cloud Computing: a computing capability that provides an abstraction between the computing resource and its underlying technical architecture (e.g., servers, storage, networks), enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” This definition states that clouds have five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Narrowly speaking, cloud computing is client-server computing that abstract the details of the server away; one requests a service (resource), not a specific server (machine). Cloud computing enables Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud computing means that infrastructure, applications, and business process can be delivered to you as a service, over the Internet (or your own network).
Cloud Enabler: A general term that refers to organizations (typically vendors) that are not cloud providers per se, but make available technology, such as cloudware, that enables cloud computing. Vendor that provides technology or service that enables a client or other vendor to take advantage of cloud computing.
Cloud Envy: Used to describe a vendor who jumps on the cloud computing bandwagon by rebranding existing services.
Cloud Hosting: A type of internet hosting where the client leases virtualized, dynamically scalable infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Users frequently have the choice of operating system and other infrastructure components. Typically cloud hosting is self-service, billed hourly or monthly, and controlled via a web interface or API.
Cloud Operating System: A computer operating system that is specially designed to run in a provider’s datacenter and be delivered to the user over the Internet or another network. Windows Azure is an example of a cloud operating system or “cloud layer” that runs on Windows Server 2008. The term is also sometimes used to refer to cloud-based client operating systems such as Google’s Chrome OS.
Cloud Provider: A company that provides cloud-based platform, infrastructure, application, or storage services to other organizations and/or individuals, usually for a fee.
Cloud Security: The same security principles that apply to on-site computing apply to cloud computing security.
Cloud Service Architecture: The term describes an architecture in which applications and application components act as services on the cloud, which serve other applications within the same cloud environment.
Cloud Service Provider: A service provider that offers customers storage or software services available via a private (private cloud) or public network (cloud). Usually, it means the storage and software is available for access via the Internet. Examples: Rackspace, Amazon and IBM Soft Layer.
Cloud Storage: A service that allows customers to save data by transferring it over the Internet or another network to an offsite storage system maintained by a third party.
Cloudstorm(ing): The act of connecting multiple cloud computing environments.
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