According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, there are five characteristics of cloud computing:

  • On-demand self-service – As a user of cloud hosting services, you can set up your own infrastructure without the assistance of a third party.
  • Broad network access – All you need is an Internet connection.
  • Resource pooling – Resources available to the host are also available to all end users equally. The resources are shared.
  • Rapid elasticity – You can increase or decrease your cloud capacity as you need to and without a lot of resource manipulation.
  • Measured service -You pay for the service that you use, not a service that is rolled into a package containing resources that you’ll never use.

These characteristics of cloud hosting can be delivered through several formats including infrastructure as a service, software as a service, and platform as a service. Furthermore, there are several deployment models, which include private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.

The flexibility of cloud hosting environments means that more and more businesses will move to this model of computing and as they do it is likely that the cost of services will come down. If you have not considered cloud hosting until now, perhaps now is the time to start planning for your future in the cloud.