クラウドとは何か?バークレーのレポート” Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud

Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). The datacenter hardware and software is what we will call a Cloud. When a Cloud is made available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public, we call it a Public Cloud; the service being sold is Utility Computing. We use the term Private Cloud to refer to internal datacenters of a business or other organization, not made available to the general public. Thus, Cloud Computing is the sum of SaaS and Utility Computing, but does not include Private Clouds. People can be users or providers of SaaS, or users or providers of Utility Computing. We focus on SaaS Providers (Cloud Users) and Cloud Providers, which have received less attention than SaaS Users.
From a hardware point of view, three aspects are new in Cloud Computing.
1. The illusion of infinite computing resources available on demand, thereby eliminating the need for Cloud Computing users to plan far ahead for provisioning.
2. The elimination of an up-front commitment by Cloud users, thereby allowing companies to start small and increase hardware resources only when there is an increase in their needs.
3. The ability to pay for use of computing resources on a short-term basis as needed (e.g., processors by the hour and storage by the day) and release them as needed, thereby rewarding conservation by letting machines and storage go when they are no longer useful.

一方、最近はサーバを使ったシステムはなんでもクラウドと呼んでいる。例えば、Googleで「クラウド ソリューション」で検索すると、割と無理無理なものが多いことが分かる。