If you've heard about "the cloud" and wonder whether it may be of value to your organization, you might start by asking, "what does cloud mean?" A cloud computing definition can introduce you to some of the key concepts and terms, and help you decide on next steps.
A short cloud computing definition is:
Cloud computing enables users to remotely access and use computer hardware and software through the Internet.
From a user's perspective, the defining aspects of the cloud computing experience are:
For the provider of cloud computing services, the cloud is defined by its leveraging of the latest and greatest data center technologies. Specifically, cloud computing requires extensive use of virtualization (server, storage, and network) and automation (particularly of provisioning, deprovisioning, scaling, and workload migration). Cloud computing is also defined by the support of secure multi-tenancy and by the implementing of web-oriented APIs (such as RESTful HTTP APIs) that facilitate customer self-service through web portals or customer-created client applications.
Another useful part of a cloud computing definition is a categorization of types of cloud services. One way cloud services can be categorized is by who the service is intended for:
Cloud services can also be categorized by the type of IT resource they offer:
From basic cloud storage services to enterprise SaaS offerings and mobile cloud computing, all cloud services have in common that they are delivered to users over the Internet. Akamai helps organizations like yours get more value from cloud services by optimizing the Internet connection between your end users and the cloud provider's data center. Using our globe-spanning network of more than 216,000 content distribution servers, routing optimizations based on real-time intelligence about internet conditions, and inline content optimizations for content being viewed on mobile devices, Akamai ensures that our clients' end users have a reliable, secure, productive experience with the cloud, from anywhere in the world.