The cloud consumer is the principal stakeholder for the cloud computing service. A cloud consumer represents a person or organization that maintains a business relationship with, and uses the service from a cloud provider. A cloud consumer browses the service catalog from a cloud provider, requests the appropriate service, sets up service contracts with the cloud provider, and uses the service.
The cloud consumer may be billed for the service provisioned, and needs to arrange payments accordingly. Cloud consumers need SLAs to specify the technical performance requirements fulfilled by a cloud provider. SLAs can cover terms regarding the quality of service, security, remedies for performance failures.
A cloud provider may also list in the SLAs a set of promises explicitly not made to consumers, i.e. limitations, and obligations that cloud consumers must accept. A cloud consumer can freely choose a cloud provider with better pricing and more favourable terms.
Typically, a cloud provider’s pricing policy and SLAs are non-negotiable, unless the customer expects heavy usage and might be able to negotiate for
Depending on the services requested, the activities and usage scenarios can be different among cloud consumers.
Below figure presents some example cloud services available to a cloud consumer (For details, see
Appendix B: Examples of Cloud Services).
Cloud consumers of SaaS:
SaaS applications in the cloud and made accessible via a network to the SaaS consumers.
Who are Cloud consumer of SaaS?
The consumers of SaaS can be an organization that provide their members with access to software applications, end users who directly use software applications, or software application administrators who configure applications for end users. SaaS consumers can be billed based on the number of end users, the time of use, the network bandwidth consumed, the amount of data stored or duration of stored data.
Cloud consumers of PaaS: can employ the tools and execution resources provided by cloud providers to develop, test, deploy and manage the applications hosted in a cloud environment.
Who are Cloud consumer of PaaS?
PaaS consumers can be application developers who design and implement application software, application testers who run and test applications in cloud-based environments, application deployers who publish applications into the cloud, and application administrators who configure and monitor application performance on a platform.
PaaS consumers can be billed according to, processing, database storage and network resources consumed by the PaaS application, and the duration of the platform usage.
Cloud consumers of IaaS:
Consumers of IaaS have access to virtual computers, network-accessible storage, network infrastructure components, and other fundamental computing resources on which they can deploy and run arbitrary software.
Who are Cloud consumer of IaaS?
The consumers of IaaS can be system developers, system administrators and IT managers who are interested in creating, installing, managing and monitoring services for IT infrastructure operations.
IaaS consumers are provisioned with the capabilities to access these computing resources, and are billed according to the amount or duration of the resources consumed, such as CPU hours used by virtual computers, volume and duration of data stored, network bandwidth consumed, number of IP addresses used for certain intervals.
Examples of Cloud Services
Some example cloud services available to a cloud consumer are listed below:
Email and Office Productivity: Applications for email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
Billing: Application services to manage customer billing based on usage and subscriptions to products and services.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM applications that range from call center applications to sales force automation.
Collaboration: Tools that allow users to collaborate in workgroups, within enterprises, and across enterprises.
Content Management: Services for managing the production of and access to content for web-based applications.
Document Management: Applications for managing documents, enforcing document production workflows, and providing workspaces for groups or enterprises to find and access documents.
Financials: Applications for managing financial processes ranging from expense processing and invoicing to tax management.
Human Resources: Software for managing human resources functions within companies.
Sales: Applications that are specifically designed for sales functions such as pricing,
commission tracking, etc.
Social Networks: Social software that establishes and maintains a connection among users that are tied in one or more specific types of interdependency.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Integrated computer-based system used to manage internal and external resources, including tangible assets, financial resources, materials, and human resources.
Business Intelligence: Platforms for the creation of applications such as dashboards, reporting systems, and data analysis.
Development and Testing: Platforms for the development and testing cycles of application development, which expand and contract as needed.
Integration: Development platforms for building integration applications in the cloud and within the enterprise.
Application Deployment: Platforms suited for general purpose application development. These services provide databases, web application runtime environments, etc.
Backup and Recovery: Services for backup and recovery of file systems and raw data stores on servers and desktop systems.
Compute: Server resources for running cloud-based systems that can be dynamically provisioned and configured as needed.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): CDNs store content and files to improve the performance and cost of delivering content for web-based systems.
Services Management: Services that manage cloud infrastructure platforms. These tools often provide features that cloud providers do not provide or specialize in managing certain application technologies.
Storage: Massively scalable storage capacity that can be used for applications, backups, archival, and file storage.