Monday, October 5, 2009

Cloud Computing - The Next BIG Thing in IT

Cloud Computing is a new buzzword in IT industry and if you do some analysis, then you will find out, it is more than just a “buzzword”. It is the next revolutionary thing for IT in forthcoming decade.

So, why the “hype” – its because it offers to solve a complex problem of procuring IT capabilities using on-demand easy-to-use approach, which is scalable, flexible and based on pay-as-you-use basis.
For example, if you are building a web-oriented project, traditionally you need to think of initial capital investment for procuring resources (e.g.hardware box, application server license etc).But using Cloud Computing, you can deploy your Web Application to Amazon EC2 without initial capital investment and you can pay as per usage basis.

Cloud Computing Definition:
A pay-as-you-use computing solution (scalable & flexible) to deliver IT-enabled capabilities (software, infrastructure, platform) as a Service (xaaS) using Internet technologies.
Key benefits: Rapid implementation time (infrastructure is readily available using public cloud), usage based payment services & flexible scalability.

Cloud Services (xaaS)

  • SaaS (Software as a Service, ex- Google/Yahoo Mail, Google Docs)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service, ex- Amazon EC2)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service, computer infrastructure as a Service, like storage, network equipment, data center, etc. ex-Amazon S3)

Cloud Computing Solution Types
Cloud solution can be of three types: Public Cloud (where you avail it from third-party) , Private Cloud (you create your own cloud using your infrastructure, ownership lies with you, more secure) and Hybrid Cloud (most viable, combination of both worlds)

Public Cloud Solution: Amazon EC2/S3, Google AppEngine, SalesForce, vmware’s vCloud, Sun Cloud
Private Cloud Solution: vmware vSphere (Cloud OS)
Hybrid Cloud Solution: vmware vSphere with vCloud

I will prefer Private Cloud as it is not only Secure but also allows you to use your existing infrastructure resource (using virtualization) for creating your own virtual world. Private Cloud OS like vmware vSphere can give you a great experience in managing the entire infrastructure seamlessly.

Cloud Computing Benefits

  • Hardware Cost reduction (vmware offers 15:1 virtualization ratio)
  • Pay on Usage basis
  • Maximum Resource Utilization
  • Scalability & Flexibility (easy scale-up, scale-down)
  • Reduced Environmental Impact (Green data centre)
  • Reduced Operational Cost
  • Reduced Other Cost (70-80% reduction in datacenter space, power, cooling infrastructure)

Cloud Computing Concerns
Security (on Public Cloud), New technology, Legal Issues/Privacy (in Public Cloud), Dependence on constant connectivity (Internet Availability in Public Cloud),  Tranparency with Service Provider (in Public Cloud), Actual Cost (pay as you use may not be cheap at times in Public Cloud)

Use Cloud Computing by developing a clear cloud computing strategy (long-term) and use incremental approach by targeting short/medium term goals aligned with your long-term strategy. Also, analyze your applications and build portfolio of them as per their suitability for private/public cloud alongside.

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