Introduction to Cloud Computing

A common understanding of “cloud computing” is continuously evolving, and the terminology and concepts used to define it often need clarifying. Press coverage can be vague or may not fully capture the extent of what cloud computing entails or represents, sometimes reporting how companies are making their solutions available in the “cloud” or how “cloud computing” is the way forward, but not examining the characteristics, models, and services involved in understanding what cloud computing is and what it can become.

This white paper introduces internet-based cloud computing, exploring the characteristics, service models, and deployment models in use today, as well as the benefits and challenges associated with cloud computing. Also discussed are the communications services in the cloud (including ways to access the cloud, such as web APIs and media control interfaces) and the importance of scalability and flexibility in a cloud-based environment.

Also noted for businesses desiring to start using communication services, are the interface choices available, including Web 2.0 APIs, media control interfaces, Java interfaces, and XML based interfaces, catering to a wide range of application and service creation developers.