Advanced – What is Cloud? More Cloud Characteristics & Principles

The question I am trying to answer at the moment is “what makes an ICT service Cloud ready?”

The reason for the question is that the answer is needed to further clarify what a Cloud service is actually is, in order to avoid buying a Cloud washed service. After some research, I have collated two lists. The first is a set of “Cloud Characteristics”; things that make Cloud really cloud. The second list is a set of “High Level Principles”; things that surround the Cloud characteristics in more detail to give better context.

As always, the caveat, this is my own thinking supported by a good measure of research and conversation.

Cloud Characteristics

Characteristic Notes
On-demand self-service Consumer can manage their own services, via a portal, without needing intervention from the supplier.
Broad network access Services are available over the internet and on standard devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and workstations.
Resource pooling The service is built on shared architecture (multi-tenanted) over which the consumer has no control.
Rapid elasticity Services can be speedily taken up and decommissioned.
Measured Service Services are on bought on a subscription basis. Usage can be controlled, reported on, and measured by the consumer.
Supports IaaS Infrastructure as a service
Supports PaaS Platform as a service
Supports SaaS Software as a service
Supports STaaS Storage as a service
Supports SECaaS Security as a service
Supports DaaS Data as a service
Supports DBaaS Database as a service
Supports TEaaS Test Environment as a service
Supports Desktop Virtualisation Desktop Virtualisation
Supports APIaaS API as a service
Supports BaaS Backend as a service
Supports XaaS “Anything else” as a service
Supports Private Cloud Single tenant model.
Supports Community Cloud Multi-tenant model.
Supports Hybrid Cloud Allows for Hybrid Cloud integration.
Supports Public Cloud Allows for Public Cloud services to be delivered.
Heterogeneous The service is heterogeneous and standardised, at least up to the application layer.
Auditable The service is able to be audited by the consumer or agent of the consumer.
State Sector exclusivity Is exclusively for the use of the State sector.
Standard Service Delivery Lifecycle The service is managed end-to-end by a common service life-cycle. For example, ITIL.
Standard Service Levels The services have standardised service levels. I.e. SLA’s are not built specifically for the consumer.
Common / Open Toolsets Tools for monitoring, measurement, management, and reporting are heterogeneous.
Service Performance is Transparent The consumer can see issues with the service.
Common Architecture The service is built on a common architecture.
Portability The service has the ability to be moved across Cloud types, and potentially providers, at the will of the consumer.

Cloud Principles

Characteristic Notes
Commoditised Services could be delivered by multiple suppliers and are considered commoditised.
Configurable not Customisable Services are configurable but not customisable as opposed to customization, which requires a change to the service itself.
Augmentable Services are able to be augmented, meaning that the service   provides capabilities allowing additional capabilities to be introduced   without changing the service itself.
Technology Independent Services are independent of the technology stack.
Device Independent Services are able to be consumed on commoditised devices. I.e. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, workstations.
Transportable Services are able to be moved between cloud types (public, private, community) and ideally, between Cloud providers.
Compliant Services comply with standards as required by the consumer.
Discoverable Services can be discovered by the wider community, as appropriate.
Well-Defined and Understandable Services are understood and defined at a business function layer as opposed to a technical solution.
Secure Delivery Services are delivered in a manner that complies with the security requirements of the consumer.
Secure Content Information managed by the service complies with any information security requirements that the consumer has.
Reliable The service reliable according to a standardised SLA.
Scalable The service is easily scalable.
Measured SLAs can be measured by the consumer.
Subscription / Usage Consumers are charged on a subscription or usage basis.
On-Demand Services are available for activation when required, by the consumer.
Self-Provisioned Services can be provisioned by the consumer without the service provider’s involvement.
Self-Configurable Services can be configured by the consumer without the service provider’s involvement.
On-Line Services are accessible via the Internet.
Self-Managed The service can be managed by the consumer without the service provider’s involvement.
Self-Supported The service has a level of self-support available to the consumer without the service provider’s involvement.
Re-Brandable The service is able to be re-branded / white labelled.
Graceful Retirement Their are options for the consumer to decommission the service. In addition, the consumer will have assurance that data will be transferred, disposed of, or archived as previously agreed.

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