As cloud computing begins to move beyond just an idea and into the beginning of mainstream adoption, Gartner, Inc. has identified the five attributes of cloud computing.
“When approaching cloud computing, providers of cloud services and potential consumers of cloud services must examine the attributes of cloud computing to determine whether their services will deliver the expected outcomes,” said Daryl Plummer, managing Vice President and chief Gartner fellow.
The five attributes of cloud computing are:
Consumer concerns are abstracted from provider concerns through service interfaces that are well-defined. The interfaces hide the implementation details and enable a completely automated response by the provider of the service to the consumer of the service. The service could be considered “ready to use” or “off the shelf” because the service is designed to serve the specific needs of a set of consumers, and the technologies are tailored to that need rather than the service being tailored to how the technology works.
Scalable and Elastic
The service can scale capacity up or down as the consumer demands at the speed of full automation (which may be seconds for some services and hours for others). Elasticity is a trait of shared pools of resources. Scalability is a feature of the underlying infrastructure and software platforms.
Services share a pool of resources to build economies of scale. IT resources are used with maximum efficiency. The underlying infrastructure, software or platforms are shared among the consumers of the service (usually unknown to the consumers).
Metered by Use
Services are tracked with usage metrics to enable multiple payment models. The service provider has a usage accounting model for measuring the use of the services, which could then be used to create different pricing plans and models.
Uses Internet Technologies
The service is delivered using Internet identifiers, formats and protocols. Many examples of Web technology exist as the foundation for Internet-based services. Google’s Gmail, Amazon.com’s book buying, eBay’s auctions and Lolcats’ picture sharing all exhibit the use of Internet and Web technologies an