Defining Cloud Computing

by Jim Smith on November 8, 2011 · 0 comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an arm of the US Department of Commerce, published a NIST Definition of Cloud Computing.

Cloud computing.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Miran Rijavec

The NIST definition of cloud computing can be broken down into 3 facets: the essential characteristics, the service models and the deployment models.

Essential characteristics:
• On-demand service
• Broad network access
• Pooling of resource
• Elasticity
• Measured service

Service models
• Software as a service (SaaS)
• Platform as a service (PaaS)
• Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Deployment models
• Private cloud
• Community cloud
• Public cloud
• Hybrid cloud

The NIST definition does not include a pricing model for cloud computing services since this has nothing to do with the nature of the service. The pricing model may be subscription pricing, a perpetual license, or some other form of pricing.

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