Cloud Computing for Your Growing Business

The Definition of Cloud Computing

How can Cloud IT Services Benefit my Business?

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Cloud computing is managed, shared applications, development platforms, or computing infrastructure accessible via the internet. It provides options such as bandwidth and on-demand computing power with flexible capabilities normally purchased as a metered service.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (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." NIST lists five essential characteristics:

  • On-Demand Self Service - A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities.
  • Broad Network Access - Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms.
  • Resource Pooling - Computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model.
  • Measured Service - Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability.
  • Rapid Elasticity - Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released to scale rapidly commensurate with demand.


According to NIST, cloud computing is deployed four ways over three service models. The three service models are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) -The consumer is provided the capability to use front office and back office applications running on a cloud infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) -The user is provided with server machine and other network resources by means of a data center platform.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - This capability provides the infrastructure, environment and tools for application development and programming.


The four deployment models are:

  • Public Cloud - The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.
  • Private Cloud - The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
  • Community Cloud - The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
  • Hybrid Cloud - The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

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