The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing

Published: September 28, 2011


Peter M. Mell, Timothy Grance


Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
Citation: Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-145
Report Number:
Pub Type: NIST Pubs


Cloud Computing, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, On-demand Self Service, Reserve Pooling, Rapid Elasticity, Measured Service, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service
Created September 28, 2011, Updated November 10, 2018