What is Cloud Computing?


Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them.

The concept generally incorporates combinations of the following:

–infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

–platform as a service (PaaS)

–software as a service (SaaS)

Other recent (ca. 2007–2009) technologies that rely on the Internet to satisfy the computing needs of users. Cloud computing services often provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

(Source: Wikipedia)

In summary: The major difference between traditional solutions and cloud solutions is that solutions developed for the cloud support multiple tenants within a virtual architecture. Traditional solutions only support multiple accounts or user within a single tenant.

Macro versus Micro

An example of a Macro Cloud is Microsoft’s Azure. As an analogy, it is a wide open field with a single set of construction guide lines. We can add as many houses from the same mold in the field as we like and charge the tenants a monthly fee. They can furnish their home to their liking, but not alter the layout of their home.

In the future Macro Clouds could support a large ecosystem of Micro Clouds. Continuing the same analogy, the field could be carved up into zones with family homes, town homes and condos. Now the tenant can choose from a list of available floor plans to fit their needs.

Virtualization enables multiple solutions to inhabit a single server. If these solutions support multiple tenants, we can build Micro Clouds that are uniquely tailored to a specific group. In terms of the analogy, we can now tailor our home layout exactly to our needs without having to wait for the zoning to happen.

Creating a Micro Cloud for just one tenant doesn’t make sense, but when we have a small group with synergistic needs, then we can achieve significant benefits. Micro Clouds enable us to customize applications for small groups of tenants that have common highly unique needs… vertical needs. When the tenants in a Micro Cloud interact and share data Partner-To-Partner (P2P) we can multiply the returns of the cloud.

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One Comment on “What is Cloud Computing?”

  1. Saqib Ali says:

    Here is how an IBMer, Ray De Pena, describes[1] Cloud Computing:

    “IP enabled, scalable, virtualized, multi-tenant, subscription based (or “pay as you”), B2B, service delivery method for business software applications, platform development, and adaptive infrastructure“. i.e. (SaaS based applications, PaaS based development, IaaS based infrastructure) .

    1. http://raydepena.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/the-beauty-of-the-cloud/


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