So what is a cloud and what does it mean to us networking people? The term cloud has been thrown around for a number of years now and im not sure people have the same definition (and its fast evolving), personally im not a massive fan of the term. According to NIST a number of service models exist;

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – applications are delivered on demand (think Gmail, CRM, Office365 Webex etc.) via a providers ‘cloud’ infrastructure. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying infrastructure or the application capabilities.
  • Platform as a Service (Paas) – software development frameworks and components are delivered to be consumed by application developers (this is the least understood form) (Google app engine, DotCloud, Microsoft Azure). The consumer does not have control over the infrastructure but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – compute, network and storage infrastructure resources are delivered as a service (Amazon EC2 and S3, Rackspace Opon Cloud). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage and deployed applications and possible limited control of select networing components (e.g. Firewalls)

Deployment Models

  • Private Cloud
  • Community Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud

Whats the result in the adoption of cloud? It’s changing the deployment methods, SDN, automation, APIs etc. increasedvirtulisation of the network devices, unified teams