Cloud Computing: Hardware As Software

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding this elegant approach to marshaling remote computer resources. And, we do not wish to profit from the confusion created by the broad marketing of cloud computing to the public. So here we offer a definition of cloud computing that is easy to understand, accurate, and without marketing hype.

1. Cloud Computing Is Hardware As Software

Let’s deal with the first part of our simplified definition of cloud computing – that “cloud computing is hardware as software.” Imagine that hardware resources, like memory and processing power, are replicable and portable like software. This special quality of software allows for its replication almost without effort or expense: the creation of 100 copies of a file is done as easily as two. However, this is not the case with RAM modules or CPUs; they need to be purchased and installed, interrupting the operation of the server. With cloud computing, hardware seemingly assumes the flexibility of software; for example, memory and processing power can be multiplied and moved from server to server at anytime.

The seeming transformation of hardware into a portable and replicable resource is realized by rendering a likeness of actual server hardware – virtual hardware. The guest operating system* is presented with access to hardware surrogates, including virtual memory, virtual processing, and virtual disk. The real hardware remains concealed and isolated from the guest operating system. For example, 64GB of actual RAM might be presented as two individual banks of 20GB, with 24GB withheld and reserved for future use. By controlling the presentation of the actual hardware through the use of virtualization, cloud platforms can dynamically allocate resources to guest operating systems.

A cloud platform, like Open Hosting’s, allows you — and your applications, via our API — to request and modify hardware resources as if they were software. Want more memory? Disk? Such resources can be adjusted without having to wait for a technician to power-down the server, open the server, install new RAM modules, and power-on.

2. Cloud Computing Is Remote Computing

The second part our definition states that “cloud computing is remote computing”. The critical point is cloud computing is more than the virtualization of hardware, but the subsequent packaging of these resources as a remotely accessible service. The service can be private and closed to the public. For instance, many large organizations operate private clouds for just their purposes. Or, more commonly, it is a public retail service, like Open Hosting. The point is virtualization isn’t enough: remote accessibility is key.

“Cloud Computing!”

Behind the marketing of this phrase, there’s an assumption that the definition is commonly understood. Yet, maybe this isn’t the case. As evidence, we regularly receive inquires from folks wanting to migrate their existing applications to a cloud host, often for no obvious technical advantage. They just want cloud.

This has happened before.** In the late 1990s, Sun Microsystems ran TV advertisements for Java, their new computer programming language. By 2000 everyone wanted Java. Most folks didn’t know what it was, but they believed it to be a connection to a shimmering future.

Ten years on, and it is cloud computing. Not since Sun’s launch of Java has the general public been so excited by a technical innovation that they often don’t understand. Everyone wants cloud.

Unlike Java, which was then the property of Sun Microsystems, cloud computing belongs to no one. It is simply a way of organizing computer resources. Still, the expression “cloud computing” — sometimes just “cloud”— is today’s Java largely by the efforts of firms like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. Apple has the iCloud. Microsoft’s ‘To the Cloud’ campaign promotes Windows Live. And, Amazon wants your media for its Cloud Player and Cloud Drive.

Used correctly, cloud computing is a truly awesome way to control the computational resources supporting your application.

Guest Post By Open Hosting

The Open Hosting team is a mix of hosting industry veterans and software developers. Open Hosting is a trusted and reliable provider of cloud hosting solutions based in Vienna, VA. Since 2003

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Pros and Cons and What the Experts Think Science fiction meets reality, and modern civilization is excitedly looking forward to the ubiquity of self-driving cars. However, an omnipresence of fully autonomous cars won’t happen as quickly as even some hopeful experts anticipate. While the autonomous car pros versus the cons race (See infographic discovered via…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

By David Fletcher Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

Recent Articles - Posted by
Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Growth According to a recent report, global investment in fintech companies including both venture-backed and non-venture-backed businesses reached $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2016; investment in venture capital-backed fintech startups, however, fell by 49%. Nevertheless, the Pulse of Fintech, published jointly by KPMG International and CB Insights, suggests venture capital investment in…

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

Securing The Cloud Enterprise Cloud adoption is accelerating for most enterprises, and cloud computing is becoming an integral part of enterprise IT and security infrastructure. Based on current adoption trends, it’s clear that the vast majority of new applications purchased by organizations will be SaaS applications. The allure is evident, from cost savings to speed…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

The Age of Data: The Era of Homo Digitus

The Age of Data: The Era of Homo Digitus

The Age of Data In our digital era data deluge – soaring amounts of data, is an overriding feature. That’s why it’s fitting to focus on the concept of Homo Digitus, which I first learned about about in“The creative destruction of medicine: How the digital revolution will create better health care,” by Eric Topol, and…

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Speed, flexibility, and innovation require multiple cloud services As businesses seek new paths to innovation, racing to market with new features and products, cloud services continue to grow in popularity. According to Gartner, 88% of total compute will be cloud-based by 2020, leaving just 12% on premise. Flexibility remains a key consideration, and…

Rounding Out Your Security Strategy With The Enterprise Cloud

Rounding Out Your Security Strategy With The Enterprise Cloud

Enterprise Cloud Security Strategy No company wants to be the one to have to announce one of the world’s biggest data breaches. From managing networks and datacenters to protecting hundreds of applications, today’s enterprises face enormous challenges. With all the surface area that needs to be tracked and protected including APIs on the front-end, customer integrations…

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Women Discriminated Against In Tech Sector It is no secret that the tech industry is considered sexist since most women are paid less than men; there are considerably fewer women in tech jobs; and generally men get promoted above women. Yet the irony is twofold. Firstly, there is an enormous demand for employees with skills…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud With the results of Cisco Global Could Index: 2013-2018 and Hosting and Cloud Study 2014, predictions for the future of cloud computing are notable. Forbes reported that spending on infrastructure-related services has increased as public cloud computing uptake spreads, and reflected on Gartner’s Public Cloud Services Forecast. The public cloud service…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…