Cloud computing—introduction
Cloud computing—introduction

The following Information Law guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cloud computing—introduction
  • History of cloud
  • What is cloud?
  • Software as a service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  • Deployment models
  • Benefits and risks
  • Relationship to outsourcing
  • Legal issues
  • more

This Practice Note introduces cloud computing concepts and describes key principles underpinning the cloud market in the UK. It covers the following:

  1. History of cloud

  2. What is cloud?

  3. Software as a service (SaaS)

  4. Platform as a service (PaaS)

  5. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

  6. Deployment models

  7. Benefits and risks

  8. Relationship to outsourcing

  9. Legal issues

  10. Cloud terminology

Detailed guidance on the legal issues relevant to cloud are set out in Practice Note: Cloud computing—key legal issues, together with an analysis of typical contractual terms and negotiating positions.

See also:

  1. Practice Note: Getting the Deal Through: Cloud Computing 2019

  2. Precedent: Software as a service (SaaS) agreement—pro-customer

  3. the pro-supplier Precedent suite:

    1. Software as a service (SaaS) agreement—master SaaS terms—pro-supplier

    2. Software as a service (SaaS) agreement—order form—pro-supplier

    3. Software as a service (SaaS) agreement—data protection addendum—pro-supplier

    4. Software as a service (SaaS) agreement—acceptable use policy—pro-supplier

  4. Precedent: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) agreement

  5. Checklist: Cloud contracts (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS)—checklist

A glossary of the technical terms used in this note and in relation to cloud computing generally can be found below in Cloud terminology.

History of cloud

Cloud computing has origins in the bureau services that developed during the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, access to computing resources such as mainframe computers was expensive and a market developed in sharing access across multiple customers to infrastructure developed and maintained by