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Cloud Computing – Big Buzz in IT

Cloud Computing technology and services have been witnessing a lot of attention for the past couple of years. There are significant interests already shown by the enterprises towards adoption of Cloud Computing Technology and Services.

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud Computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the "Cloud" that supports them.Wikipedia

If you have IT background, you can understand like Cloud Computing is the use of massively scaled offsite IT resources assembled virtually, accessed over the internet, contracted on demand in real-time or near real-time on a pay-per-use or subscription basis, where the workloads are shared among multiple customers.

It is method to address scalability and availability concerns for large scale Applications.

A cloud is a pool of virtualized computer resources. A cloud can:

  • Dynamic computing infrastructure
  • IT service-centric approach
  • Self-service based usage model
  • Minimally or self-managed platform
  • Consumption-based billing

Critical attributes of Cloud Computing are:

  • Service Based: Defined interfaces between consumers and providers
  • Scalable and Elastic: Scales to add or remove resources as needed
  • Shared: Shares a pool for economy of scale
  • Metered by use: Tracks usage and enables multiple payments model.
  • Internet Technology: It is delivered through internet technology

Essentially IT infrastructures hosted by third parties that are easily accessible by organizations to increase capacity and capabilities without having to invest in new hardware, software or employees.

Cloud Overview and Considerations

According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, cloud computing consists of five essential characteristics, three distinct service models, and four deployment models.

  • Essential Characteristics
    • On-Demand Self-Service
    • Resource Pooling
    • Rapid Elasticity
    • Measured Service
    • Broad Network Access
  • Service Models
    • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) :Organisations can access a wide range of applications,operating systems and services. These services frequently support collaborative working and the interlinking of services (mash ups)
    • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) :All of the facilities required to support the complete life cycle of building and delivering Web
      applications and services is entirely available from theInternet
    • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):
  • Deployment Models
    • Public Cloud
    • Private Cloud
    • Community Cloud
    • Hybrid Cloud

At the core, Cloud Computing has three flavors of “as a Service.”

 

Here is defination as per NIST

"The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure… accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email)." [Source NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v15]

User can access software or an application hosted as a service across web using through a web browser. It is a cost effective solution and also easily deployed. Vendors may host the application on their own web servers or download the application to the consumer device like

  • Utility Computing
  • Virtual Servers

Typical Example are example are Salesforce.com, Gmail.com ,WebEx, Google Docs, acrobat.com

For non IT people, you can understand as , you will never buy another software license or do another implementation or upgrade if you have an alternative that is pay–as–you–go and get–what–you–need.

This category of things we can “rent” from a Cloud Computing provider.

User can develop application over web without the requirement to physically installing the software locally. Complete platform is hosted remotely and then delivered to the users directly on subscription basis.It is transparent as it encapsulate the required software and exposes the user only services.

Cloud computing platforms

  • Elastic Compute Cloud (By Amazon)
  • Azure (By Microsoft)
  • Force.com (Salesforce.com)
  • Blue Cloud (By IBM)
  • Suiteflex (By NetSuite)
  • Apps Engine (By Google)

No need to buy and maintain the servers and storage space. It can be rented now as per the new services provided by the Cloud
computing. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) eliminates the operational cost and at the same time it also provides most of the features and functions found in the traditional Enterprise Application Integration technology.

This category is Infrastructure as a Service, which offers lower–level capabilities like storage and processing power.

Typical example are Amazon Web Services,Google Base, SAVVIS,Terremark Worldwide,Gogrid,Sun Grid, Compute Utility

Cloud Computing works on “pay–as–you–go and get–what–you–need” model.

What are the benefits of Cloud?

Pressures to decrease IT costs and increase agility are driving organisations to consider cloud computing services.

Organisations are concluding that the traditional packaged software model is outdated and are considering cloud computing with other forms of outsourcing

Cloud computing is being driven by many urgent priorities:

Future with Cloud Computing

This is still at very early stage.

  • Cloud computing growth is projected at 20% in the next few years
  • Organisations will move to cloud services out of economic necessity
  • Google and Amazon will expand their footholds among startups
  • Microsoft cloud services will gain strength among .NET users
  • Major application vendors, such as Oracle, SAP, Workday planned to introduces new cloud services
  • Cloud computing startups will continue to be funded and drive innovation
  • Emerging data security standards in the cloud will increase adoption by larger organisations
  • Development of APIs
    • Red Hat's Delta Cloud
    • Citrix's Xen Cloud
    • Amazon Web Services API
    • VMware's VCloud

Techies who are looking something to do great, keep watching this domain. This is surly getting hotter in another 2-3 yrs .