Cloud Fundamentals

NetApp module number four! This one has been the hardest module I have done so far. It was incredibly long and packed with information being explained in a womans robotic voice. I never knew there was so much involved in making cloud computing what it is today! I will do my best to explain what was explained in this module.

cloud computing agenda

What is Cloud Computing?

The term “cloud computing” a lot of people including me assume that it is a very basic term, easily explained. You will be shocked to know that there isn’t an actual definition of what cloud computing actually is. Everyone seems to have a different definition of what it is and what it is not. Here is what the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) believes it is; the enhancement of collaboration, agility, scaling, and availability. Provides the potential for cost reduction through optimised and efficient computing. This definition, I find is more of a explanation of what cloud computing does, not what it is.

“Cloud allows you to have the agility, it allows you to scale, it allows you to match your costs. So you really need to think of the elements that are new in the cloud today that will really help IT organisations scale and be flexible for the future.”

– Cynthia Stoddart, NetApp CIO


Why use Cloud Computing?

The highlighted reason in this module why people should use cloud computing is because of the important business needs it addresses. Such as;

  • Velocity – by aiding the innovation around business solutions and the fast delivery of them.
    • Sevice delivery or self service cloud – makes it fast and easy for the business to have and maintain their required services on demand.
  • Growth – providing for IT resources that need to be scalable and on demand as required.
    • Elasticity – on resources where required.
  • Cost reduction – instead of huge up front investments into complex IT systems, can expect to only pay for the resources as they are actually consumed.
    • Cost effective solutions – metered and closely measured resource consumption, only consumed resources need to be paid.
  • Consistency – IT services and solutions must be reliable, available and reduce business risk.
    • Reduced risk – service offerings are optimised and standardised which increases availability and reduces risk.

Cloud Model

cloud computing models

Key Delivery Methods


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Host

  • Offers basic computer network or storage services.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) Build

  • Provides a computing platform along with necessary application build/run environments.

Software as a Service (SaaS) Consume

  • Abstracts the underlying infrastructure and platforms even further to provide direst functional access to the application and its capabilities.

IT as a Service

An operational model where the IT organisation of an enterprise is run like a business, optimising IT production for business comparison. Founded on the use of public, private and hybrid clouds that employ, trust and compliance up and down the stack plus introducing infrastructure likeness and automation where ever possible.

New consumption models
These models provide IT financial transparency for costs, pricing and aid consumer driven IT such as bring your own device to meet the needs of users and simply consumption of service.

New operational models
A creation of more horizontal service oriented processes where IT capacity is explicity alined with the lines of the business.

Key Deployment Models


Private Cloud

Cloud computing platform that is protected by a firewall. A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems but removes risks; control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security and issues connected to regulatory compliance.

Public Cloud

Form of cloud computing in which a business relies on a third party cloud service provider for services such as server, data storage and applications, which are delivered to the business through the internet.

Hybrid Cloud

A combination of private and public clouds in which some imporatnt data resides in the business’s private cloud while other data is stored in and accessible from a public cloud.

Five Key Characteristics


  • Self service
  • Broad accessibility
  • Shared
  • Measured metered
  • Elastic

Considerations with Cloud

Cloud is not a perfect solution and with this often comes concerns and questions from both the industry and consumers. These concerns and questions can be summarised into five areas;

  • Security and risk
    • Provider security posture – cloud providers are responsible for securing all aspects of the infrastructure and operation system in the cloud environment.
    • Governance – extensive governance and security strategies are a non-negotiation requirement for a cloud provider to maintain good customer relationships. Security threats change constantly so a proactive approach is required.
    • Application security – It is our job as IT professionals to protect and secure applications and information. Challenges can arise, such as multi tenant architecture (users of a public cloud run the risk of);
      • Collateral damage
      • Virus attacks
      • Service interruptions
  • Privacy
    • The concerns and questions that arise about the privacy of cloud computing come from the risks that are involved with the cloud;
      • data is stored on third party servers
      • limited control regarding information
      • Inadequate security
      • System breaches
      • Compromised data
      • Legal problems
  • Compliance
    • compliance can be an increased cost
    • compliance may require a cloud service audit
    • audit and compliance risks
    • security risks
    • information risks
    • billing risks
    • contract risks
  • Vendor Lock-in
    • Fear of vendor lock-in is a major barrier to cloud service adoption
  • Performance
    • nosy neighbour
    • provider capabilities
    • resource disparity

This module has been the most difficult one of them all to take in. Simply due to the fact that it was quite a bit longer and more information packed than the other modules. It is very interesting, putting the pieces that make up the cloud together and figuring out what they are and what their purpose is. Three modules left to go :-D, Flash Fundamentals is next :-).


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