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Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.


Clouds may be limited to a single organization or be available to multiple organizations.


Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale.


The availability of high-capacity networks, low-cost computers, and storage devices as well as the widespread adoption of hardware virtualization, service-oriented architecture and autonomic and utility computing has led to growth in cloud computing.

Cloud computing identifies “five essential characteristics”:


·         On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.


·         Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).


·         Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.


·         Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.


·         Measured service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.


Service models

  •      Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  •     Platform as a service (PaaS)
  •     Software as a service (SaaS)
  •     Mobile “backend” as a service (MBaaS)
  •        Serverless computing
  •     Function as a service (FaaS)

Deployment models

  •      Private cloud
  •      Public cloud
  •      Hybrid cloud


In computing, virtualization, or virtualization (sometimes abbreviated v12n, a numeronym) is the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources.

Hardware virtualization

Hardware virtualization or platform virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual machine that acts like a real computer with an operating system. Software executed on these virtual machines is separated from the underlying hardware resources.

In hardware virtualization, the host machine is the machine that is used by the virtualization and the guest machine is the virtual machine. The words host and guest are used to distinguish the software that runs on the physical machine from the software that runs on the virtual machine.

Different types of hardware virtualization include:

Full virtualization – almost complete simulation of the actual hardware to allow software environments, including a guest operating system and its apps, to run unmodified.

Paravirtualization – the guest apps are executed in their own isolated domains, as if they are running on a separate system, but a hardware environment is not simulated. Guest programs need to be specifically modified to run in this environment.

Hardware-assisted virtualization is a way of improving overall efficiency of virtualization. It involves CPUs that provide support for virtualization in hardware, and other hardware components that help improve the performance of a guest environment.

Other types of Virtualization:

  • Software
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Storage virtualization
  • Virtual file system
  • Storage hypervisor
  • Virtual disk
  • Data
  • Network