Cloud Computing Characteristics

Cloud computing characteristics are typically distinctive features and qualities that differentiate such systems from other seemingly-related systems.

These characteristics can be categorized as either technical or basic.

Technical Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Large-scale computing resources

Cloud computing systems are often implemented in large scale to reduce cost and providers can benefit from significant economies of scale.

Shared resource pooling

Resource pooling forms the foundation for cloud scalability. Pooling of virtual and physical resources into the cloud provides an abstraction of resource location independence phenomenon, which in turn shields cloud consumers from being aware of the real location of shared resources in use.

Dynamic resource scheduling

Via software automation, cloud resources are provisioned dynamically based on the current demand requirements and ensures that the cloud service capability is being expanded or contracted based on demand. However, great considerations should be given to high levels of reliability and security during this process.

High scalability

Cloud computing architecture allows you to add new nodes and servers with no reconfiguration and remodification requirements to cloud software and infrastructure.

Rapid elasticity

Computing resources can be rapidly and elastically provisioned and released based on the demand of the consumer. Consumers view these resources as if they are infinite and can be purchased in any quantity at any time. Capabilities provided to each user can be scaled rapidly and automatically in line with changes in demand.

Basic Characteristics of Cloud Computing

On-demand self-service

Cloud services are automatically made available without human interference when required by a potential consumer. These services include, but are not limited to processing power, web applications, server time, storage and networks.

Broad network access

Real-time access and use of cloud services via the internet using any platform (laptops, mobile phones and so on) is made possible anytime regardless of the geographical location.

Measured service

A pay-per-use metering model is being used by the cloud service provider to monitor, control and effectively manage cloud services and resources.

This service sends an appropriate pricing bill to the user based on the type of services requested and extent of usage.


Multiple users can access the same cloud services at the same time. Although, sharing of cloud resources among multiple users is possible at the host, network and application levels; however each user operates as an instance of a customized virtual application.


The use of multiple redundant sites is an approach being adopted to attain reliability. The higher the reliability the lower the cloud service usage risks.

It also increases the confidence of potential cloud consumers and users to adopt cloud for business-critical tasks and disaster recovery.

Cost of effectiveness

Cloud adoption relieves the users of heavy investments in high performance complex and expensive computing systems and the technical expertise involved.

Sophisticated infrastructures and resources that perfectly match business requirements are being leased out as a service. This helps to lower the operational cost of IT organizations and individuals.


Cloud provides a highly flexible and reconfigurable environment that allows you to customize a set of cloud services, infrastructure and applications to meet users’ specifications.

Efficient resource utilization

The cloud architecture ensures that resources that are delivered are efficiently utilized and made available only for the period needed.


Use of cloud ensures that the burden of technical knowhow and the cost of maintaining  software and hardware are taken away from the users.


Collaborative interaction among disparate users of cloud PaaS is possible.


Physical resources are provisioned virtually, thus allowing users’ work accessible from anywhere and at any time.

Cloud computing provides IT solutions as a service rather than as conventional physical products.

Green Technology

Cloud computing is an energy-efficient technology that does not require huge power consumption.

High Performance

Cloud computing has very large storage and high computing specifications that characterize high-performance computing environments.

Shared infrastructure

Cloud allows you to share of resources (storage, physical services and networking capabilities) using a virtualized software model.

Network Access

Cloud allows resources and services to be accessed using any internet-ready devices like the portable digital assistants, laptops, personal computers and so on using protocols like Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), internet and transmission control technologies.