Cloud Computing is a deployment model and cloud computing is a business model. Cloud computing is not some silver bullet magical thing. It's not even easy *gasp* sometimes.
As a deployment model cloud computing can it is simply summed up as on-demand, self-service, reliable, and low to no capital costs services for the consumer.
As a business model it is summed up as, again, low to no long term capital costs (and the associated depreciation) and pay as you go service provider pricing models. In reality these are mountains of micro transactions aggregated into monthly and yearly billing cycles. For example, I spent $0.015 for a small compute instance w/ a cloud infrastructure provider because I just needed an hour of an Ubuntu 10.04 linux machine to test a quick software install combination and update a piece of documentation. I'll get a bill for that at the end of the month. Get this...
An hour of compute time costs me 3.3 times LESS than a piece of hubba bubba chewing gum cost me at $0.05 (one time use only) over 30 years ago. #cloud
Enterprises and service providers are learning very quickly from the how the early public cloud vendors how to do things differently and often more efficiently. It was well summed up in the Federal CTO's announcement of the government application cloud. Basically, that we saw that consumers could get IT services for orders of magnitude less than we could. So, we're fixing that by emulating what the companies that service the consumers are doing. Smart. Bechtel did this exact same thing years ago when analyzing that the cost per GB of storage for Amazon was orders of magnitude less than Bechtel could and asked the very important question why and then answered it very well.
A couple of years ago now I helped found a company called nScaled. nScaled does, business continuity as a service. It is only possible with the resources, at the price, and at the speed we have moved because of following cloud computing deployment and business models. It would not have been possible for us to build this business when we did and the way we have without these models.
In March 2008 I called cloud computing a renaissance.
It is my opinion that Cloud Computing is a technology architecture evolution that, when properly applied to business problems, can enable a business revolution. I've been saying this for a while but in recent weeks I have actually come to prefer the term renaissance over revolution.
Today, two years into a startup that uses the raw power of cloud computing deployment and business models across the board to enable new ways for companies to consume disaster recovery and business continuity solutions I can say without a doubt that I believe that cloud computing is a renaissance more than ever before!