Definition

cloud ecosystem

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Understanding the cloud service broker model

Cloud ecosystem is a term used to describe the complex system of interdependent components that work together to enable cloud services.

Merriam-Webster defines an ecosystem as the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit. In terms of cloud computing, that complex includes not only traditional elements of cloud computing such as software and infrastructure but also consultants, integrators, partners, third parties and anything in their environments that has a bearing on the other components.

Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, discussed the cloud ecosystem in a keynote address at Cloud Connect 2011. According to Vogels, the traditional concept of cloud services creates a metaphorical pyramid out of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), which limits the way we think about them. Vogels suggested that a better way of thinking of the cloud environment was to think of everything as a service.

See also:  anything as a service (XaaS)

This was last updated in October 2011

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