Characteristics of Cloud Computing

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In today’s world, more and more business organisations and companies are integrating the Cloud Computing in their data centres. It has come a long way in the last 2 decades. Because of the many advantages of the cloud computing, it is only going to increase in the future. Some essential characteristics of this cloud computing model that are defined by the (NIST) National Institute of Standards and Technology. They are as follows:

On-demand self-service

A consumer can provision unilaterally some computing capabilities such as network storage and server time, as needed automatically without requiring any human intervention with each service provider.

Resource Pooling

The computing resources of the provider are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi tenant model, with different virtual and physical resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to the consumer demand. The consumer has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify the location at any higher, rough level of guessing, like the state, country, data centre etc. thus; there is a sense of location independence. Some of the examples of resources are the memory, storage, and processing and network bandwidth.

Broad Network Access

Capabilities are accessed through standard mechanisms and are available over the network that promotes the use by the heterogeneous thick or thin client platforms like tablets, laptops, phone, and workstations etc.

Measured Service

Automatically optimised and controlled are the resources usages by the cloud systems by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service i.e the processing, storage, active user accounts and bandwidth. This resource usage can be controlled, monitored and reported, providing transparency to both the consumer and provider of the utilised service.

Rapid Elasticity

Capabilities can be released and positioned elastically and also automatically in some cases, to scale rapidly inward and outward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning, often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated at any time and in any quantity.

These above 5 essential characteristics have been redefined by a number experts and architects. Besides these, there are other characteristics of cloud computing, which are:

  • The maintenance of the cloud computing applications is easier here, as they are not installed in the computers of every user of them and they can be accessed from any place.
  • The reliability improves with the use of multiple redundant sites, and this makes the well-designed cloud computing very much suitable for disaster recovery and business continuity.
  • The elasticity and scalability via the dynamic provisioning of resources, on a self-service basis and fine grained in near to real time.
  • The cloud providers can enjoy and claim cost reductions.
  • For the organisations, Agility can be improved, as the cloud computing the user’s flexibility.


This Cloud Computing concept is really very good, as we can see from the characteristics. By taking the full advantage of them, our life will be easier than before.

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