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Cloud Computing : It’s Service Models and Core Characteristics

Sarah Johnson*

Department of Computer Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

*Corresponding Author:
Sarah Johnson
Department of Computer Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Received: 10-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. GRCS-23-122360; Editor assigned: 14-Nov-2023, Pre QC No. GRCS-23-122360(PQ); Reviewed: 28-Nov -2023, QC No. GRCS-23-122360; Revised: 05-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. GRCS-23-122360 (R); Published: 12-Dec-2023, DOI: 10.4172/2229-371X.14.4.006

Citation: Johnson S. Cloud Computing: It’s Service Models and Core Characteristics. J Glob Res Comput Sci. 2023;14:006.

Copyright: © 2023 Johnson S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Cloud computing is a technology that has transformed the way individuals, businesses, and organizations access and utilize computing resources. Instead of owning and maintaining physical servers or computing infrastructure, users can access computing power, storage, and services over the internet from cloud service providers. This model provides several advantages, including scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.

key characteristics of cloud computing

Cloud computing is characterized by several key features that distinguish it from traditional computing models. These characteristics collectively contribute to the flexibility, scalability, and efficiency that make cloud computing a widely adopted technology. Here are the key characteristics:

On-demand self-service: Users can provision computing resources, such as server instances or storage, as needed without requiring human intervention from the service provider. This characteristic empowers users to independently manage and control their computing resources on a self-service basis.

Broad network access: Cloud services are accessible over the network and can be accessed through standard mechanisms, fostering ubiquitous access from a variety of devices (e.g., laptops, smartphones, tablets). This characteristic enables user to connect to cloud resources from anywhere with an internet connection.

Resource pooling: Computing resources are pooled to serve multiple customers, with the provider dynamically assigning and reallocating resources based on demand. This pooling of resources allows for more efficient utilization, as physical and virtual resources are shared among different users.

Rapid elasticity: Cloud resources can be rapidly and elastically provisioned to scale up or down in response to changing demand. This elasticity ensures that users can quickly adapt their computing resources to handle varying workloads without manual intervention.

Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource usage, and the usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported. Users pay for the resources they consume, often on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis, promoting cost efficiency and transparency.

These key characteristics collectively form the foundation of cloud computing and provide several benefits for both users and service providers. They facilitate a more dynamic, scalable, and cost-effective computing environment, allowing organizations to focus on their core activities without being burdened by the complexities of managing physical infrastructure. The combination of these features has fueled the widespread adoption of cloud computing across various industries.

Service models

In cloud computing, service models define the type of services provided by the cloud provider to its users. These models represent different levels of abstraction, each offering varying degrees of control, management, and responsibility for the users. There are three primary service models in cloud computing:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS provides virtualized computing resources over the internet, allowing users to rent virtual machines, storage, and networks.

• Users have significant control over the operating systems, applications, and network configurations within their virtual machines.

• Users can scale their infrastructure up or down based on demand, paying only for the resources they consume.

Examples: Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Google Compute Engine.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS offers a platform that allows customers to develop, run, and manage applications without dealing with the complexities of underlying infrastructure.

• Users have control over the deployed applications and some application settings, but the underlying infrastructure and runtime environment are abstracted.

• Platform-level scalability is managed by the provider, allowing developers to focus on application development rather than infrastructure concerns.

Examples: Heroku, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure App Service.

Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS delivers software applications over the internet on a subscription basis. Users access the software through a web browser, and the provider handles maintenance, updates, and support.

• Users have minimal control over the application settings and configurations, as these aspects are managed by the provider.

• Scalability is entirely managed by the provider, and users typically pay based on the number of users or other usage metrics.

Examples: Salesforce, Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365.

Common characteristics across service models

• All service models often operate on a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model, providing cost flexibility.

• Cloud providers ensure that users can easily scale their resources based on demand, whether it's at the infrastructure, platform, or software level.

• Each service model abstracts certain aspects of the underlying infrastructure, providing varying levels of control and management to users.

• As we move up the service models, the cloud provider takes on more responsibility for managing aspects like security, maintenance, and updates.

• Different service models cater to the needs of various users, from infrastructure administrators and developers (IaaS, PaaS) to end-users or business professionals (SaaS).

Understanding these service models helps organizations choose the most appropriate level of abstraction based on their specific requirements, technical expertise, and the nature of the applications they deploy in the cloud.


Cloud computing has emerged as a transformative technology, revolutionizing the way computing resources are accessed, utilized, and managed. The key characteristics of on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service collectively contribute to the agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness that define cloud computing. The three primary service models – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) – offer users varying levels of control, management, and responsibility. These models, with their common characteristics of flexible cost models, scalability, resource abstraction, managed services, and focus on specific user needs, cater to a diverse range of requirements across industries.