Features

In the definition of "National Institute of Standards and Technology", a U.S. federal agency for technological standardization processes, cloud computing is characterized by five essential characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broadband internet access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Performance measurement

Harding, Chris 2011, page 2

On-Demand Self-Service
On-Demand Self-Service means to use the IT services on demand such as applications, computing power, storage capacity, or entire sites without prior definition of the order quality.
No human interaction with a service provider is required. The consumer gains the service when needed. A simple user operation and the avoidance of human interactions cause cost savings that can be passed to the customers. (cf. Krutz, Roland; Vines, Dean Russell 2010, page 9 f)

Broadband Internet Access
There must be a broadband internet connection on both sides (the user as well as supplier) that cloud computing can be used effectively as an alternative to internal servers.
Via the broadband internet connection, the user can access the cloud computing services of the provider.
Whereas the requirements regarding the broadband are significantly higher than for the end user. (cf. Spath, Dieter; Weisbecker, Anette; Falkner, Jürgen 2011, page 3)
From an economical point of view you can have access to a large pool of IT resources with a low rate of the Internet connection. (cf. Krutz, Roland; Vines, Dean Russell 2010, page 10)
The required broadband connection depends on the transmission formation and the data sizes. At the same time, the required download and upload rate increase with the number of users.
When using software masks, the height of the download rate is more important than the upload rate.

Resource Pooling
Resource Pooling means that an offered resource is shared with other users. (cf. Spath, Dieter; Weisbecker, Anette; Falkner, Jürgen 2011, page 3)
Therefore, cloud computing providers usually offer multi-client services. Each single user gets a separate application environment with the required resources. (cf. Microsoft Press: Cloud Computing mit der Microsoft-Plattform)
As typical resources, processing power, memory, network broadband, software and virtual machines are offered.(cf. Metzger, Christian; Reitz, Thorsten; Villar, Juan 2011, page 13)
The offered resource pool is therefore large and flexible to meet customer demands and service level requirements.
The integrated resources can be physically at many different geographical locations and assigned as virtual components of "one processing power", if needed. (cf. Krutz, Roland; Vines, Dean Russell 2010, page 10) Thus, many users can use the required resources simultaneously.

Rapid Elasticity
Cloud services can be adapted within minutes to the needs of the users. (cf. Spath, Dieter; Weisbecker, Anette; Falkner, Jürgen 2011, page 3)
Thus, individual modules of a program can be increased or decreased as required.
The allocation of resources can therefore be spontaneously, quickly and automatically.

Performance Measurement
You only pay what you need and retrieve. (cf. Krutz, Roland; Vines, Dean Russell 2010, page 10 f)
Based on the performance measurement the consumption of the cloud services is automatically logged from the provider.
Thus, an accurate accounting of the user behaviour and purchase quantity is possible. (cf. Spath, Dieter; Weisbecker, Anette; Falkner, Jürgen 2011, page 3)
The generated consumption transparency has an advantage for both the user as well as the provider, as it creates security and confidence in the customer loyalty and potential for resource optimization. (cf. Metzger, Christian; Reitz, Thorsten; Villar, Juan 2011, page 15)

=> Cloud computing software and IT resources are hired and not bought.

The advantage is that software licenses must not be bought in advance, but can be "rented" as quickly and flexibly as required.

As a result: You only pay for the used modules. This binds fewer resources and is demand-driven. Cloud Technology represents the most advanced form of IT-Outsourcing.