Arguably, there are more definitions of “cloud computing” than there are cloud-based services. A quick Google search will leave most people with more questions than answers. Indeed, the complexity of the topic means that it is often necessary to access what is not cloud computing with as much diligence as what is cloud computing.
The most well-known third party definition comes from NIST but we prefer a more simple definition that does not become too restrictive, namely:
“Cloud Computing is a means of delivering computing capabilities (processing, storage, etc) using shared or dedicated resources that are housed in a secure centralised platform (e.g. a “cloud”), rather than using the customers’ own servers. Cloud capacity is inherently burstable, e.g. can be expanded or contracted as required to meet fluctuations in demand.”
The reality of cloud computing is more nuanced. We won’t pretend it’s easy to understand but this site exists to help its readers to learn more. A proper understanding of the hosting stack is necessary to help you understand what type of cloud service (e.g. “X as a Service” or “XaaS”) is right for you, e.g. infrastructure, platform or software based upon your individual or company requirements.
Sadly, the complexity doesn’t end there. There are also different delivery models – e.g. public, virtual private, private and hybrid – for your preferred cloud option. Our cloud choice tool will take you through the key stages in the decision-making process as a guide to help you to decide which of the many infrastructure hosting options is the optimal solution for you, based on a mix of your requirements and preferences.
Ultimately, what really counts is what cloud computing means to you. It’s about what you’re trying to achieve, what outcomes matter, how it will improve your organisation or make your life easier. Therefore, we’d encourage you to look at the benefits of cloud before diving into the technology, as we must understand where we’re going before we work out how to get there.