Cloud Computing Explained In Four Paragraphs

Cloud Computing Explained In Four Paragraphs

Cloud computing. The definition for that two-word term varies greatly depending on who's doing the talking. But during Atlanta Linux Fest, held Sept. 19, Canonical's John Pugh offered a simple definition that brings order to cloud computing, SaaS (software as as service), platform as a service (PaaS) and some other hot terms in IT. Here's the scoop.

During a cloud computing presentation, Canonical's Pugh stuck with well-known metaphors to describe cloud computing -- comparing it to electricity and other utilities that you can power up (or down) based on your customers' needs. But Pugh caught my attention when he described different types of cloud computing technologies and models.

Generally speaking, Pugh says there are three types of cloud deployment models:

  • Public Clouds: Such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Windows Azure
  • Private Clouds:Deployed on-premise behind the customer's firewall
  • Hybrid Clouds: For instance, a retailer that extends their private cloud to a public cloud during busy holiday sales cycles
Pugh also says there are three types of cloud delivery models:
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Focused on a specific application such as Salesforce.com, NetSuite or Canonical's own Landscape
  • Platform  as a Service (PaaS): Focused on an operating environment (such as Windows Azure) for deploying applications
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or GoGrid, IaaS manages all the hardware so that you can scale up operating systems and applications at a moment's notice.
That's cloud computing in four paragraphs. Certainly, definitions will vary from person to person. Was Pugh on the mark? Did he miss any key areas of the cloud computing market?

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