Characteristics of Cloud – Part II

In this post, we’ll discuss the next two characteristics of cloud, broad network access and Resource Pooling.

Broad Network Access:

The term means, 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). The cloud will usually not be in the same region as you are, but you’ll still be able to access it using any of your device.

Resource Pooling:

This is one of the very important characteristic of the cloud. Let us try understanding it with an example. Know about Uber Pool? If no, recall how you used to go to school. Probably a school bus or a car pool. The idea of resource pooling is similar. Allow the resource (cab or bus) to be used by multiple people (students) at the same time.

Assume the cloud has resources as shown above. We see, User A requested for 4 resources and is assigned 4 of them (in blue colour). User B requested for 2 and is assigned 2 of them (shown in purple). Rest 4 are still marked Green signifying they are free and can be assigned at anytime to anyone. So, basically the set of resources has been sliced among multiple consumers (or tenants). Note, users are not accessing the resources directly. They are just trying to access the cloud, of which resources they are using. Thus, multiple people and one point of access. This type of model is called multi-tenanted model. The request for resources is dynamically assigned and reassigned. Ex: In above diagram, if User A wants to release one resource, the number of available resources will then be 5. Also, existence of any user to transparent to any other user. It is service provider’s responsibility to make sure the data of one is not accessible to another.

Users don’t have any idea of where the cloud resides. They just want to remotely access the cloud and do the work. Though, they may have some rough idea at an upper abstraction level, like the country where the cloud resides.

Now, to define it, resource pooling stands for: 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. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or data center). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.

In the next post, we’ll see some other characteristics of the cloud. Stay tuned 🙂