Cloud Computing – Umm, Err, What’s That?

“Cloud Computing” is the new great thing that will save our souls. Of course, the consultants can tell you what it is, as the dollar signs whiz round in their eye sockets, but most of them talk in the language of the land of fluff. So what is “Cloud computing” to the rest of us?

Apparently, cloud computing is the next evolution of how we will work over (or, within) the internet. “It’s become ‘the phrase of the day’ and we are all talking about it,” says a senior analyst of one of the biggest analyst firms. He is echoing many of his peers. However, as we see every time a new concept arrives, everyone seems to have a different definition – and when you ask them you get theirs.

The words ‘cloud’ and ‘computing’ already have meanings to us. When we hear ‘cloud’, we probably conjure up images of PowerPoint slides, or architecture diagrams, which have a picture of a cloud where the internet should be. ‘Computing could conjure up anything from a vast data center to an abacus, and anything in between. When we add the two together we form our own, very personal, impression of what ‘cloud computing’ might be.

Naturally, there are many analysts and vendors defining cloud computing for us – out of their mouths it seems to means exactly what they happen to be selling. Some go narrow, ‘it’s the virtulisation of servers’. Some go broad, ‘it’s anything outside your firewall’.

To some, cloud computing is about IT and what IT needs – an ability to turn on and off data and processing capacity at will and on demand. From the IT perspective, cloud computing probably encompasses any hardware or software, subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends the IT Department’s existing capabilities.

This implies that, as with food when ‘green’ became the ‘next big thing’ in the supermarkets and suddenly, abracadabra, with a change of packaging, new ‘green’ food appears everywhere, so with our IT services, server virtulisation, ‘software as a service’, data storage etc., become ‘cloud computing services’.

Clearly what ‘cloud computing’ is will evolve as our collective understanding and agreement evolves (by which time it will qualify for inclusion is the dictionary). Let’s take a quick look at some of the common services that, today, are normally included in what we understand as ‘cloud computing’:

Software as a service (SaaS)

Software applications that are delivered through a browser to thousands of users with the capability to up-scale, add users etc., on the fly.

Utility Computing

This is normally understood to be the capability to access storage and virtual servers on demand, normally buying capacity rather than specific machines.

Web services in the cloud

An extension as Software as a service where the functionality to build, or add features to, useful applications/systems is delivered on demand over the internet. Google Maps, graphics engines etc., are examples.

Platform as a service

A variation of Software as a Service. The whole development environment is delivered over the internet rather than just the application.

MSP (managed service providers)

New badge for an old favourite – outsourcing (see sourcing, below) anything from virus scanning to every scrap of hardware and software to a third party service provider to manage.

Service commerce platforms

A service offering a ‘portal’ that users access and use from within their own environments – travel companies offer such portals as do companies who aggregate buying and offer central procurement. Sourcing

Much of the above also falls under the heading of ‘outsourcing’, or ‘sourcing strategy’. In other words, it gets into the cloud because it was outsourced. Perhaps we’ll see a new breed of service providers rebranding as ‘Cloud Service Providers’

This, though, is just the tip of the iceberg. If you find a dark corner and have a quite word with some of the service providers who are positioning themselves neatly at the forefront of the cloud computing wave you get a very different picture. The most common analogy that is being used to describe the new world of cloud computing is of utility companies – delivering IT as a utility, like, say, electricity. The vision of these boys have is one where you have on your company premises only the IT you actually need to touch (keyboards, monitors, mouse, telephones etc). NO IT department (that’s right guys and gals – no IT department!) As with the other utilities, the facilities manager (sorry, director) will pay the bills and chase the vendor when service is cut off. Of course, the promise is that this will not happen – multiple redundancy, mirrored, earthquake and hurricane proof data centers the size of Mount Everest, but underground, will ensure our service continuity. Phew!

Seriously though, the folks who are creating the new cloud computing services have worked their business models through quite thoroughly and the potential payoff from moving all our IT services out into the cloud environment certainly seems real – in terms of: Flexibility – like electricity, use only what you need – service on tap and service levels too (60w bulb or 100w bulb) – only pay for what you use.

No capex – just as you see no line item on your electricity bill for the power cables and pylons, in a pure cloud computing environment you will see nothing on your bill but the ‘services’ you have used – capacity is just there and you just use it – and then pay for what you used.

Security – The level of security that cloud computing firms are likely to provide as standard (for many reasons, not least because they will need to overcome the inevitable and inherent distrust that arises when firms release from their own sweaty mitts their business critical systems) will be far higher than all but the most secure environments currently provide.

Service levels – likely to be higher and more consistent than internal the IT departments of many firms are financed to provide. Value for money – we are told the cost models seem to be offering savings in the region of 20% to 60% over in-house costs, though, due to the immaturity of the market, we have been unable to verify these estimates with facts.

Obviously there are concerns: data security, data confidentiality, lack of control over business critical infrastructure, consequences of aggregation with other company’s systems and infrastructure etc.,- these are just some of the issues that seem to worry potential ‘cloudies’.

At the end of the day the chances are quite high that if the business model works, the price is right and the psychological obstacles overcome, the CFO will ultimately get his way.

In summary, cloud computing is looks set to be the next big thing. IT bods had better get ready for a ride – their cheese just moved!

 

Cloud Hosting Technology

Before getting in to the details, let us initially work out what cloud hosting is, a term that is commonly used by every single hosting provider out there. To put it in simple words, this form of hosting is largely being offered these days by business cloud hosting service providers, and they sure have gained lots of popularity with time. All of the resources that are necessary for the maintenance of a business website are spread across a number of web servers, and are rendered on a more so ‘need’ basis. The major benefit that this particular technology has to offer is that of reduced downtimes in case of hardware failure or server malfunctions.

A highly noteworthy element associated with business cloud consulting and implementation is that it makes it possible for businesses to acquire peak traffic on to their websites, without having to worry about bandwidth issues. This is because there are multiple servers that have the ability to provide additional resources required for the proper functioning of the site. What this means is that your website is no longer going to rely on a single server. Instead, it will be managed by a cluster of servers, all of which are going to work together to form a cloud.

The characteristics of cloud

Cloud computing is commonly referred to as a ‘stack’. This is because of the variety of services that are built on top of each other, and have been given the moniker cloud. On the whole, cloud computing presents a model that enables on-demand, and convenient network access to a shared pool of computing resources that are conveniently configurable. This includes networks, applications, storage, servers and services. The model provides end users with the ability to make use of parts of bulk resources, wherein these can be easily acquired.

Now, here’s a bit of information about the different characteristics of a service that can be considered cloud;

It presents extensive network access

What this means is that accessing the services through varying standard platforms is extremely easy. These are inclusive of laptops, desktops, and mobiles etc.

It guarantees on-demand-self-service

For a service to be considered cloud, it must provide the ability for an end user to sign up, and acquire extensive services without having to keep up with long delays that are a part of the IT industry.

Flexibility and resource pooling

In a cloud service, all resources have been pooled across varied customers. Moreover, the service has the sort of flexibility required to keep up with increasing demands.

How does cloud hosting work?

As has already been explained, every single server in the cloud has the potential to help carry out a certain set of tasks. In case any server in the cloud fails, the other servers are basically going to act as a ‘back up’ server so that the required resources can be rendered without any issues as such.

The same is what happens in case an overload takes place. But the fact of the matter is that the utilization of low quality SSD cloud hosting servers has the potential to deter server performance rather significantly. If truth be told, implementations such as these seriously are not worthy of being considered efficient, and it is merely cheap hosting providers that offer such services.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are both practical example of cloud hosting. In terms of IaaS offering, the service provider needs to provide its clients with a virtualized hardware resource wherein they may install whichever software environment they wish to take up prior to the development of their web application. However, in terms of a SaaS service, the client additionally needs to be provided with a software environment, for instance, as a solution stack (operating system, web server software, database support, and programming support etc.). This way, it becomes possible for the client to straight move on towards the installation and development of their web applications. The IaaS model of cloud hosting is a better pick for businesses that have complex IT infrastructure, with experienced IT professionals who might want to have more customization power.

The advantages that cloud hosting has to offer

If truth be told, there are countless benefits that you can reap by taking on SSD cloud hosting. To begin with, the cloud setting has the potential to offer lots of power and freedom to you in terms of acquiring all the computing resources that you require. Cloud hosting services offer server management along with high speed shared data storage in its extensive pool of computing power. The best part about this approach is that it guarantees a higher level of performance and up-time, which is something that the standard single server computing paradigm simply cannot offer.

 

Why Businesses of All Sizes Are Moving to the Cloud Through Infrastructure As a Service

Cloud computing and hosting is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the present day market. As it offers many added benefits and advantages to the customers, other types of hosting services are slowly becoming obsolete. In order to best understand the type of hosting services required for your business, you can avail the services of business cloud consulting in order to analyze your needs and requirements. Apart from improving the efficiency of your business, it can also help you reduce operation costs and give you unrestricted access to your resources. As it is based on the internet, remote access is also possible making it an ideal choice for all types of businesses.

The reasons why most businesses are moving to cloud

Cloud computing offers a variety of different advantages comparatively that can help small and medium businesses grow faster. The main advantages that cloud computing offers are as follows.

    • Recovery from disaster or system failure is much faster- Most fully managed cloud hosting services allow the users to recover from system failure much faster. Data loss is also minimized as all the user data is stored efficiently in virtual systems. A server failing in the system does not affect the capabilities of other systems as it is just a virtual partition.

 

    • Remote access- As it is based on the internet, anyone with internet access and authorization can use the resources provided by the hosting service provider. This increases the flexibility for the workers involved and also helps them to sync their works and documents more efficiently.

 

    • Security- Data stored on the cloud is much more secure and safe. Damage to the server or the machine does not affect the data of the user. By simply logging into the portal from another machine, the user can make use of his resources and data easily.

 

  • SSD cloud hosting also helps businesses to reduce their operational costs by reducing the need for added security, administrators and other similar personnel. Therefore, the available resources can be allocated efficiently to contributing towards the objectives of the organization.

These are some of the reasons why most businesses are moving to cloud in the recent past. However, in order to get the best out of your investment, it is imperative to make a well informed decision by going through the reviews and expert opinions of the different services available and choose the most beneficial solution.

When choosing managed business cloud hosting services, most of the maintenance work and related costs are taken up by the service provider thus reducing your operational costs. As there are a variety of service providers available in the market, comparing different deals before choosing one can help you get a cost effective solution. This can also help you to better understand what you are paying for and thus avoid any ineffective solutions. In order to fully utilize your investment, it is important to first analyze your business needs and requirements before deciding to choose a hosting service provider. You can even consider consulting an expert in the relevant field in order to get a better opinion that can help you make your decision.

 

5 Circumstances Where You Would Profit from Cloud Consultancy

With expanded funds, more gadget availability, enhanced adaptability, and even natural benevolence to boot, cloud computing companies has seen a surge lately hence and the sky is the limit from there. By decreasing the requirement for capital framework and subsequently hacking ceaselessly at capital consumption costs, cloud-based applications, for example, Office 365 have enabled organizations to scale back as far as equipment and programming licenses, in addition to other things. While cloud computing offers organizations of all sizes an entire host of motivations to do the switch, the movement itself can be extremely testing. To make the progress less demanding, cloud consultancy specialists stretch out their administrations to help a wide range of associations from an assortment of businesses and foundations.

Cloud Consulting Can Make the Difference   

Despite your data innovation capability, there are times while getting outside help for IT anticipates like these can have the effect between a fruitful migration and a fizzled organization. To accomplish the previous, cloud counseling furnishes associations with the best possible know-how and apparatuses they have to succeed. Right away, here are five situations where it is useful to use cloud counseling.

  1. Not a single IT Department to be found

For littler organizations, it’s regularly difficult to set aside cash with an effectively tight spending plan for an in-house IT staff. Keeping in mind the end goal to fill its void help, numerous SMBs either completely outsource with managed IT administrations or contract for muddled ventures, for example, Cloud Migration. With a cloud advisor dealing with the relocation, your association can keep meeting business goals and work on other everyday undertakings.

  1. Occupied IT Team

Notwithstanding for those more prosperous associations that can manage the cost of a completely staffed IT office, it never damages to get outside help. Rather than driving a cloud migration on the IT workers who undoubtedly have different tasks and due dates to stress over, a cloud advisor can get ready for and deal with the whole migration.

  1. Moderate Deployment

One of the advantages of cloud computing over on-introduce arrangements is a speedier sending with a couple of months to even a couple of years in contrast. Be that as it may, in the event that you don’t have help with your migration from the specialists, your association can without much of a stretch face a similar destiny of on-preface clients. Having a cloud expert reductions the anticipated time till organization since they can design appropriately, set sensible due dates, and handle issues that emerge amid the migration.

  1. Dread of Risk

As the precept goes, with extraordinary hazard comes awesome reward. In any case, wouldn’t it be significantly more agreeable, or if nothing else less upsetting, to lessen the hazard without a comparing decrease in remunerate? With cloud counseling, your association can move to the cloud without the typical stress included. By moving down information and offering a choice of relocation techniques, cloud specialists remove the stress from the condition and supplant it with worry over what truly matters, the business.

  1. Little Cloud Experience

You might be very comfortable with cloud-based applications and sites, yet that is from a shopper point of view. Working from a venture edge with everything cloud is all the more requesting of your chance and innovative ability. Extraordinary compared to other resources a cloud advisor offers is understanding. They have managed various distinctive cloud biological communities, associations, and businesses, so going up against another customer just get simpler with each cloud migration.

Benefits and Risks of Cloud Migration

There are numerous issues that moving to the cloud can tackle. Here are some run of the mill situations that will profit by cloud migration.

  1. Your application is encountering expanded activity and it’s getting to be hard proportional assets on the travel to take care of the expanding demand.
  2. You have to decrease operational expenses, while expanding its adequacy forms.
  3. Your customers require quick application execution and organization, and subsequently need to concentrate more on advancement while lessening framework overhead.
  4. Your customers need to extend their business topographically, however you speculate that setting up a multi-locale foundation – with all the related support, time, human, and mistake control exertion – will be a test.
  5. It’s ending up more troublesome and costly to stay aware of your developing stockpiling needs.
  6. You’d get a kick out of the chance to assemble a generally circulated improvement group. Cloud computing conditions enable remotely found representatives to get to applications and work by means of the Internet.
  7. You have to build up a fiasco recuperation framework however arranging it up for a whole server farm could twofold the price. It would as well require a mind boggling debacle recuperation design. Cloud calamity recuperation frameworks can be actualized considerably more rapidly and provide you much superior power over your assets.
  8. Following and updating fundamental server programming is a tedious, yet basic process that requires intermittent and once in a while quick redesigns. At times, a cloud supplier will deal with this naturally. Some distributed computing models also handle numerous organization undertakings, for example, database reinforcement, programming overhauls, and occasional upkeep.
  9. Capex to Opex: Cloud figuring shifts IT consumption to a compensation as-you-go replica, which is an appealing advantage, particularly for new businesses.

While your particular condition will decide the dangers that apply to you, there are some broad downsides related with cloud migrations that you will need to consider.

  1. If your application stores and recovers extremely delicate information, you won’t have the capacity to keep up it in the cloud. Correspondingly, consistence prerequisites could as well confine your decisions.
  2. If your current setup is addressing your necessities, doesn’t request much support, scaling, and accessibility, and your clients are for the most part glad, why upset it?
  3. If a portion of the innovation you as of now depend on is restrictive, you may not be lawfully ready to send it to the cloud.
  4. A few tasks may experience the ill effects of included dormancy when utilizing cloud applications over the web.
  5. If your equipment is controlled by another person, you may lose some straightforwardness and control while investigating execution issues.
  6. Loud “neighbors” can once in a while make themselves “heard” through shared assets.
  7. Your specific application plan and engineering may not totally take after circulated cloud structures, and in this way may require some measure of change before moving them to the cloud
  8. Cloud stage or seller secure: Once in it may be hard to leave or move between stages.