Kudos to someone at apps.gov or NIST for a great 2 minute summary of the cloud. My summary of the summary:
Cloud Computing Defined
Cloud computing is a model for enabling 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.
Five Characteristics of Cloud Computing
- On-demand, self service
- Wide network access
- Resources dynamically shared and allocated across customers
- Elastic rapid provision and release
- Metered service
Three Main Layers of Service Provided by Cloud Computing
- Saas: Software as a service, for end-user consumers
- Paas: Platform as a service, for software developers
- Iaas: Infrastructure as a service, for system administrators
Two Axes of Choice for Cloud Deployment
- Public vs Private
- Outsourced vs In-house
And finally a bonus:
A History of Cloud Computing in Three Sentences
- It began life as "Grid Computing" - a technology to solve large problems with parallel computing on widely distributed resources.
- Grid computing matured to be offered as a metered service known as "utility computing".
- This evolved via packaged solutions and self-service subscription over the internet into what is now known as Cloud Computing.