# Cloud Characteristics*

  • Broad Network Access
  • On-Demand Services
  • Resource Pooling
  • Rapid Elasticity
  • Measured Service

# Broad Network Access

There should never be network bandwidth bottlenecks. This is generally accomplished with the user of such technologies as advanced routing techniques, load balancers, multisite hosting, and other technologies.

# On-Demand Services

On-demand services refer to the model that allows customers to scale their compute and/or storage needs with little or no intervention from or prior communications with the provider. The services happen in real time.

# Resource Pooling

Resource pooling is the characteristic that allows the cloud provider to meet various demands from customers while remaining financially viable. The cloud provider can make capital investments that greatly exceed what any single customer could provide on their own and can apportion these resources, as needed, so that the resources are not under-utilized (which would mean a wasteful investment) or overtaxed (which would mean a decrease in level of service).

# Rapid Elasticity

Allows the user to obtain additional resources, storage, compute power, and so on, as the user's need or workload requires. This is more often transparent to the user, with more resources added as necessary seamlessly.

Threats include:

  • Abuse or nefarious use of cloud services. Even when using the cloud for legitimate purposes, from a management perspective, users in a cloud customer organization often do not pay directly for cloud services (and are often not even aware of the cost of use) and can create dozens or even hundreds of new virtual systems in a cloud environment for whatever purposes they need or desire.

# Measured Service

Measured or metered service simply means that the customer is charged for only what they use and nothing more.