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Cloud Security: A Comprehensive Guide to Secure Cloud Computing by Russell Dean Vines, Ronald L. Krutz

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Chapter 2. Cloud Computing Architecture

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.

–Herb Caen

As shown in Chapter 1, cloud computing isn't as much a single technology as it is a combination of many existing technologies. Elements of cloud computing may resemble earlier computing eras, but advances in virtualization, storage, connectivity, and processing power are combining to create a new technical ecosystem for cloud computing, and the result is a fundamentally different and compelling phenomenon.

The adoption of cloud computing services is growing rapidly, and one of the reasons is because its architecture stresses the benefits of shared services over isolated products. This use of shared services helps an organization focus on its primary business drivers, and lets information system technology departments reduce the gap between available computing capacity (always-on high resource) and required systems demand (mostly low volume with occasional spikes). This results in a much more efficient usage-based cost model.

This chapter looks at the primary elements of the cloud computing architecture, using the NIST document described in Chapter 1 as a baseline (we'll also look at a couple of other accepted cloud based computing architecture models). Included in this chapter are the following:

  • Cloud delivery models — The SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS elements of the SPI framework

  • Cloud deployment models (also called consumption modalities) — Private, community, ...

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