We are in the middle of a once-in-a-decade transformation, This change to cloud services, is driven by the move to build social apps, mobile apps, location aware, real-time applications. It’s increasingly obvious that old applications and technologies weren’t really designed for this new world.
But, how do you describe “cloud services” to someone? There are multiple ways of describing the cloud.
In this page I highlight some useful taxonomies from various sources that I found useful in explain Cloud Computing.
- Describing the Cloud to an Enterprise Audience
- Describing the Cloud to a Technical Audience
- Describing the Cloud as Outsourcing 3.0
- Describing the Innovation Roadmap unleashed by the Cloud
- NIST Cloud Taxonomy
Describing the Cloud to a Enterprise Audience
The simplest way to describe the cloud is to stick to the message that IT is maturing and becoming a on-demand, utility service for certain aspects. This trend is already strong in the consumer side (pretty much everything we do as consumer at home runs in the cloud today – facebook, gmail, NetFlix, iTunes, Kindle, Spotify, e-commerce).
Different layers of IT – Software, Development Platforms and Infrastructure – are becoming service oriented at different speeds. The figure below describes this evolution.
Describing the Cloud to a Technical Audience
We went thru a period in 1990 and 2000s where massive consolidation happened and we were left with vendors (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle) that provide fully integrated stacks. The innovation was being dictated by the vendor and their priorities.
Typically when this happens costs rise and people rebel. So the Open Source community emerged and started to become a credible threat with Linux and other projects. They started to innovate at different layers of the IT stack as shown below. They also started to shift the operational paradigm by asking the question: why can’t this be provided as a service.
Chris Hoff presents this IT Stack disaggregation and re-integration below.
Describing the Cloud as Outsourcing 3.0
Cloud from one perspective is simply outsourcing in a new form. So one way to describe the cloud is what do you do do and what do you have a vendor do.
The taxonomy below provides a roles and responsibilities view based on Private Cloud, IaaS, PaaS or SaaS.
Describing the Innovation Taking Place in the Cloud Marketspace
There are numerous entrants into the Cloud Marketspace. The figure below from Open Crowd presents a simplified view of who these entrants are and what sector they are playing in.
Other Useful Sources
1) Opencrowd has a great taxonomy page with a lot more detailed insights: http://cloudtaxonomy.opencrowd.com/
2) Definition from National Institute of Standards & Technology: ”Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”