I was inspired to write this post after watching the latest Network Chuck YouTube video where he interviewed me regarding AWS at the 2018 Cisco Live conference. What struck me was the excitement surrounding the video as evidenced by the comments on all the major social media channels. There are so many students excited to start these various certification tracks! In that regard – I wanted to break down what cloud really is. For this definition, we turn to the NIST. They identify 5 common characteristics of cloud solutions. Here they are for you in plain English. Keep in mind that I turned to the NIST as these specific charactersitics they point out are frequently tested across all the various cloud vendors.