Cloud computing promises to revolutionize enterprise IT and drive unprecedented levels of efficiency and flexibility. And there’s nothing nebulous about the potential business benefits. Economic conditions have indelibly altered the bottom line at many enterprises. In the current climate, IT infrastructure characteristics can make or break a business, heightening requirements to minimize cost and risk while scaling up or down as demand rises and falls.
Cloud computing has been much discussed can be defines in terms of three key characteristics:
- · Flexible costs: Cloud computing incurs variable operational costs on a pay-per-use basis, without up-front infrastructure capital costs.
- · Elastic scalability: Infrastructure capacity is highly elastic (either up or down), differentiating clouds from traditional hosting services providers.
- · Geographic and hardware independence: The underlying hardware can be located virtually anywhere, with the applications and services abstracted from that hardware.
Cloud computing drives efficiency through virtualization and economies of scale, Just as virtualization can help maximize utilization of IT resources, control operational costs, and automate management in enterprise data centers, it also enables hyper-scale cloud services providers to achieve massive levels of scalability—helping to reduce labor costs and optimize their infrastructures in ways that enable them to offer pay-as-you-go services in a cost-effective way.
Ultimately, however, the cloud is not about technology—it is about making IT efficient and responsive to the business. Fundamentally, cloud computing is a change to the traditional IT infrastructure model in that it enables various categories of IT to be delivered entirely as a service, without the traditional levels of hardware, software, and people investment.
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