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7 Key Characteristics Of Cloud Computing

Learn about the 7 key characteristics of cloud computing that make it a powerful and flexible computing platform.

Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson
Oct 27, 2023567 Shares22.6K Views
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  1. Characteristic 1 - On-demand Self-service
  2. Characteristic 2 - Broad Network Access
  3. Characteristic 3 - Resource Pooling
  4. Characteristic 4 - Rapid Elasticity
  5. Characteristic 5 - Measured Service
  6. Characteristic 6 - Pay-as-you-go
  7. Characteristic 7 - Multi-Tenancy
  8. People Also Ask
  9. Conclusion
7 Key Characteristics Of Cloud Computing

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the 7 key characteristics of cloud computingthat define and differentiate cloud computing. These characteristics not only elucidate the nature of cloud services but also serve as a compass for businesses and computer students navigating the ever-evolving landscape of technology.

In today's fast-paced technological era, cloud computing stands as a cornerstone of innovation and efficiency. It has revolutionized the way we store, access, and process data, redefining the boundaries of what's possible in the digital realm.

At its core, cloud computing entails the delivery of various computing services - including servers, storage, databases, networking, analytics, and software - over the internet ("the cloud"). Unlike traditional on-premises solutions, cloud computing allows users to access and utilize resources on an as-needed basis, paying only for what they consume.

Cloud computing has emerged as a linchpin in modern technology, reshaping how businesses and individuals approach IT solutions. Its significance extends far beyond the realms of convenience; it fundamentally alters the economics of computing. By eliminating the need for physical hardware and infrastructure, businesses can allocate resources more efficiently and scale operations dynamically.

Characteristic 1 - On-demand Self-service

On-demand self-service is the ability for users to provision computing resources, such as servers and storage, as needed without requiring human interaction with the cloud provider. This allows users to get the resources they need quickly and easily, without having to wait for approval from the IT department.

Benefits Of On-demand Self-service

There are many benefits to on-demand self-service, including:

  • Speed and agility -Users can get the resources they need quickly and easily, without having to wait for approval from the IT department. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that need to be able to respond quickly to changes in demand.
  • Reduced costs -On-demand self-service can help businesses reduce costs by eliminating the need to hire and train dedicated IT staff to provision and manage computing resources.
  • Increased control -On-demand self-service gives users more control over their computing environment. They can choose the exact resources they need and scale them up or down as needed.

How To Use On-demand Self-service

To use on-demand self-service, users typically need to create an account with a cloud provider. Once they have an account, they can access a web-based portal or API to provision and manage their computing resources.

For example, to provision a new server, a user would simply log into the cloud provider's portal and select the type of server they need. They would then specify the server's configuration, such as the amount of CPU, memory, and storage. Once they have configured the server, they can click a button to provision it.

The cloud provider will then automatically provision the server and make it available to the user. The user can then start using the server immediately.

Examples Of On-demand Self-service

Here are some examples of on-demand self-service:

  • Provisioning a new server
  • Scaling up or down the number of servers in a cluster
  • Creating a new database
  • Adding more storage to an existing database
  • Deploying a new web application

On-demand self-service is a powerful feature of cloud computing that allows users to get the resources they need quickly and easily. It can help businesses save money, improve agility, and increase control over their computing environment.

Characteristic 2 - Broad Network Access

Broad network access refers to the ability to access cloud services from a variety of devices and locations over the internet. This includes devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, as well as from different locations such as the office, home, or on the go.

Broad network access preview
Broad network access preview

Benefits Of Broad Network Access

There are many benefits to broad network access, including:

  • Increased productivity -Broad network access allows employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection. This can increase productivity by giving employees the flexibility to work where and when they are most productive.
  • Improved collaboration -Broad network access makes it easier for employees to collaborate with each other on projects, regardless of their location. This can lead to improved communication and teamwork.
  • Reduced costs -Broad network access can help businesses reduce costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain on-premises infrastructure.

How To Use Broad Network Access

To use broad network access, users simply need to have an internet connection. Once they have an internet connection, they can access cloud services from any device.

For example, an employee could use their smartphone to access a cloud-based email application from anywhere in the world. Or, a team of employees could use a cloud-based video conferencing application to collaborate on a project, even if they are located in different countries.

Examples Of Broad Network Access

Here are some examples of broad network access:

  • Accessing a cloud-based email application from a smartphone
  • Using a cloud-based video conferencing application to collaborate with team members in different locations
  • Deploying a cloud-based web application to users all over the world
  • Accessing cloud-based storage from a laptop while on the go

Broad network access is a key characteristic of cloud computing that allows users to access cloud services from anywhere with an internet connection. This can help businesses increase productivity, improve collaboration, and reduce costs.

Characteristic 3 - Resource Pooling

Resource pooling is the practice of combining computing resources, such as servers, storage, and memory, from multiple users into a single pool. This pool of resources is then dynamically allocated to users as needed.

Benefits Of Resource Pooling

There are many benefits to resource pooling, including:

  • Improved efficiency -Resource pooling allows cloud providers to make more efficient use of their computing resources. This is because the cloud provider can allocate resources to users on an as-needed basis, rather than having to provision dedicated resources for each user.
  • Reduced costs -Resource pooling can help cloud providers reduce costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain excess computing resources. These savings are then passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.
  • Increased scalability -Resource pooling makes it easier for cloud providers to scale their services up or down to meet demand. This is because the cloud provider can simply add or remove resources from the pool as needed.

How To Use Resource Pooling

Resource pooling is typically transparent to users. When a user requests a resource, such as a new server, the cloud provider will allocate the resource from the pool of available resources. The user will then be able to use the resource as if it were dedicated to them.

Examples Of Resource Pooling

Here are some examples of resource pooling:

  • A cloud provider pools its servers and allocates them to users as needed.
  • A cloud provider pools its storage and allocates it to users as needed.
  • A cloud provider pools its memory and allocates it to users as needed.
  • A cloud provider pools its bandwidth and allocates it to users as needed.

Resource pooling is a key characteristic of cloud computing that allows cloud providers to make more efficient use of their computing resources, reduce costs, and increase scalability. This benefits users by giving them access to reliable and affordable computing resources that can be scaled up or down as needed.

Characteristic 4 - Rapid Elasticity

Rapid elasticity is the ability of a cloud computing platform to automatically scale resources up or down based on demand. This allows businesses to quickly and easily respond to changes in workload, without having to manually provision or decommission resources.

Rapid Elasticity interface
Rapid Elasticity interface

Benefits Of Rapid Elasticity

There are many benefits to rapid elasticity, including:

  • Reduced costs -Rapid elasticity can help businesses reduce costs by eliminating the need to overprovision resources. This is because businesses can scale their resources up or down as needed, based on demand.
  • Improved performance -Rapid elasticity can help businesses improve performance by ensuring that they have the resources they need to handle spikes in workload.
  • Increased agility -Rapid elasticity can help businesses be more agile and responsive to change. This is because businesses can quickly scale their resources up or down to meet changing demands.

How To Use Rapid Elasticity

Rapid elasticity is typically transparent to users. When a user's workload increases, the cloud provider will automatically allocate additional resources to the user. When the user's workload decreases, the cloud provider will automatically de-allocate resources from the user.

Here are some tips on how to use rapid elasticity to your advantage:

  • Identify your workload patterns -The first step is to identify your workload patterns. This will help you to understand when you need to scale your resources up or down.
  • Use autoscaling -Autoscaling is a feature that allows you to automatically scale your resources up or down based on demand. You can configure autoscaling rules to specify when you want to scale your resources up or down and how much you want to scale them.
  • Monitor your resources -It is important to monitor your resources to ensure that you are getting the performance you need. You can use cloud monitoring tools to monitor your resource usage and identify any potential performance bottlenecks.

By following these tips, you can use rapid elasticity to reduce costs, improve performance, and increase agility.

Examples Of Rapid Elasticity

Here are some examples of rapid elasticity:

  • A cloud provider automatically scales up the number of servers in a cluster to handle a sudden increase in web traffic.
  • A cloud provider automatically scales down the number of servers in a cluster when web traffic decreases.
  • A cloud provider automatically allocates more storage to a database when the amount of data in the database increases.
  • A cloud provider automatically de-allocates storage from a database when the amount of data in the database decreases.

Rapid elasticity is a key characteristic of cloud computing that allows businesses to reduce costs, improve performance, and increase agility. It is a valuable feature for businesses of all sizes, but it is especially beneficial for businesses with fluctuating workloads.

Characteristic 5 - Measured Service

Measured service is the ability to monitor, control, and report on the amount of resources that a user consumes. This allows cloud providers to bill users based on their actual usage, rather than charging a flat fee.

Benefits Of Measured Service

There are many benefits to measured service, including:

  • Fair billing -Measured service ensures that users are only billed for the resources they consume. This can help businesses to save money on their cloud computing costs.
  • Increased transparency -Measured service provides users with transparency into their cloud computing usage. This information can be used to identify areas where costs can be reduced or to optimize resource usage.
  • Improved capacity planning -Measured service can help cloud providers to improve capacity planning. By monitoring resource usage, cloud providers can identify trends and patterns in demand. This information can be used to forecast demand and ensure that there are enough resources available to meet customer needs.

How To Use Measured Service

Cloud providers typically provide users with a variety of tools and reports to help them monitor and control their usage. These tools and reports can be used to view usage data by resource type, time period, and other criteria.

For example, a user could view a report that shows their storage usage for the past month. This report would show how much storage the user has used, as well as the cost of that usage. The user could then use this information to identify areas where they can reduce their storage usage or to upgrade to a higher storage tier.

Here are some tips on how to use measured service to your advantage:

  • Monitor your usage -The first step is to monitor your usage. This will help you to understand how much of each resource you are using and how much it is costing you. You can use cloud monitoring tools to monitor your resource usage.
  • Identify areas where you can reduce your usage -Once you have a good understanding of your usage, you can start to identify areas where you can reduce it. For example, you may be able to reduce your storage usage by deleting unused files or by archiving data that you no longer need. You may also be able to reduce your bandwidth usage by optimizing your website or web application.
  • Choose the right pricing plan -Cloud providers typically offer a variety of pricing plans. You should choose a pricing plan that is aligned with your usage patterns. For example, if you have a predictable workload, you may want to choose a reserved instance pricing plan.

By following these tips, you can use measured service to reduce your cloud computing costs.

Examples Of Measured Service

Here are some examples of measured service:

  • A cloud provider bills users for the amount of storage they consume.
  • A cloud provider bills users for the amount of bandwidth they consume.
  • A cloud provider bills users for the number of CPU hours they consume.
  • A cloud provider bills users for the number of database instances they consume.

Measured service is a key characteristic of cloud computing that allows cloud providers to bill users based on their actual usage. This benefits users by providing them with fair billing, increased transparency, and improved capacity planning.

Characteristic 6 - Pay-as-you-go

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) is a pricing model for cloud computing services where users are charged based on their actual usage. This is in contrast to traditional pricing models, where users are charged a flat fee for a certain amount of resources, regardless of how much they actually use.

Pay-as-you-go interface
Pay-as-you-go interface

Benefits Of Pay-as-you-go

There are many benefits to pay-as-you-go pricing, including:

  • Cost savings -Pay-as-you-go pricing can help businesses save money on their cloud computing costs. This is because businesses only pay for the resources they consume.
  • Flexibility -Pay-as-you-go pricing is very flexible. Businesses can scale their resources up or down as needed, without having to commit to a long-term contract.
  • Predictability -Pay-as-you-go pricing is very predictable. Businesses know exactly how much they will pay for cloud computing each month, based on their usage.

How To Use Pay-as-you-go

Pay-as-you-go pricing is typically available for all cloud computing services, including computing, storage, networking, and databases. To use pay-as-you-go pricing, businesses simply need to create an account with a cloud provider and select the pay-as-you-go pricing plan.

Once a business has created an account and selected a pricing plan, they can start using cloud computing services. The cloud provider will track the business's usage and bill them at the end of each month.

Here are some tips on how to use pay-as-you-go to your advantage:

  • Choose the right pricing plan -Cloud providers typically offer a variety of pricing plans, including pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and committed use discounts. You should choose a pricing plan that is aligned with your usage patterns. For example, if you have a predictable workload, you may want to choose a reserved instance pricing plan.
  • Monitor your usage -It is important to monitor your usage to ensure that you are not overpaying for cloud computing. You can use cloud monitoring tools to monitor your resource usage and identify any potential areas where you can reduce your usage.
  • Use reserved instances and committed use discounts -If you have a predictable workload, you may want to consider using reserved instances or committed use discounts. These pricing options can help you to save money on your cloud computing costs.

By following these tips, you can use pay-as-you-go pricing to reduce your cloud computing costs and get the most out of your cloud computing investment.

Examples Of Pay-as-you-go

Here are some examples of pay-as-you-go pricing:

  • A cloud provider charges users based on the amount of storage they consume.
  • A cloud provider charges users based on the amount of bandwidth they consume.
  • A cloud provider charges users based on the number of CPU hours they consume.
  • A cloud provider charges users based on the number of database instances they consume.

Pay-as-you-go pricing is a popular pricing model for cloud computing services. It offers businesses a number of benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, and predictability.

Characteristic 7 - Multi-Tenancy

Multi-tenancy is a software architecture in which multiple customers share the same infrastructure. This is in contrast to single-tenancy, where each customer has their own dedicated infrastructure.

In cloud computing, multi-tenancy is the standard architecture. This is because it allows cloud providers to be more efficient and to offer lower prices to their customers.

Benefits Of Multi-tenancy

There are many benefits to multi-tenancy, including:

  • Reduced costs -Multi-tenancy allows cloud providers to reduce costs by sharing infrastructure between multiple customers. This savings is then passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.
  • Increased efficiency -Multi-tenancy allows cloud providers to use their resources more efficiently. This is because cloud providers can allocate resources to customers on an as-needed basis, rather than having to provision dedicated resources for each customer.
  • Improved scalability -Multi-tenancy makes it easier for cloud providers to scale their services up or down to meet demand. This is because cloud providers can simply add or remove resources from the pool of shared resources as needed.

How To Use Multi-tenancy

Multi-tenancy is typically transparent to users. When a user requests a resource, such as a server or a database, the cloud provider will allocate the resource from the pool of shared resources. The user will then be able to use the resource as if it were dedicated to them.

There are a few things you can do to use multi-tenancy to your advantage:

  • Choose a cloud provider with a good reputation for security -Multi-tenancy can pose some security risks, so it is important to choose a cloud provider with a good reputation for security.
  • Use isolation techniques to protect your data -Cloud providers typically offer a variety of isolation techniques that you can use to protect your data. For example, you can use virtual private clouds (VPCs) to create isolated networks for your applications.
  • Monitor your applications for security threats -It is important to monitor your applications for security threats, even if you are using a cloud provider with a good reputation for security. You can use a variety of tools to monitor your applications for security threats, such as cloud security tools and application security tools.

By following these tips, you can use multi-tenancy to your advantage and benefit from the cost savings, efficiency, and scalability that it offers.

Examples Of Multi-tenancy

Here are some examples of multi-tenancy:

  • A cloud provider hosts multiple websites on the same server.
  • A cloud provider hosts multiple databases on the same server.
  • A cloud provider hosts multiple email servers on the same server.
  • A cloud provider hosts multiple CRM systems on the same server.

Multi-tenancy is a key characteristic of cloud computing that allows cloud providers to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve scalability. This benefits users by giving them access to reliable and affordable cloud computing services that can be scaled up or down as needed.

People Also Ask

What Is A Characteristic Of Cloud Computing Mcq?

The essential characteristics of cloud computing are:

On-demand self-service: Users can provision computing resources, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service's provider.

What Is The Characteristic Of Private Clouds?

Private cloud combines many of the benefits of cloud computing—including elasticity, scalability, and ease of service delivery—with the access control, security, and resource customization of on-premises infrastructure.

What Are The Physical Characteristics Of Clouds?

In meteorology, a cloud is an aerosol consisting of a visible mass of miniature liquid droplets, frozen crystals, or other particles suspended in the atmosphere of a planetary body or similar space. Water or various other chemicals may compose the droplets and crystals.

Conclusion

These 7 key characteristics of cloud computing make cloud computing a powerful and flexible computing platform that can be used by businesses of all sizes. Cloud computing can help businesses to reduce costs, improve agility, and increase scalability.

If you are considering using cloud computing, it is important to understand the key characteristics of cloud computing and how they can benefit your business.

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