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.

 

Cloud Storage vs. Cloud Computing

The word “cloud storage” and “cloud computing” are customarily utilized reciprocally. One might be enticed to trust they have a similar importance; however this is a long way from reality. As much as cloud computing and cloud storage have a great deal in like manner and are gotten from a similar source (the cloud), they are really unique ideas. We will look at the contrasts between these ideas in this article.

Cloud Storage

At the point when the normal individual first ponders cloud storage, they will probably consider putting away documents, (for instance: tunes, recordings, and applications) on a distant server to be recovered from different gadgets whenever he/she needs them. Cloud storage is basically a framework that enables you to store information on the net, like you would save on a PC. It empowers you to transfer information through the net to cloud-based networks. Once you’ve put away your information on the cloud and you as well some other individual you offer access to, would then be able to simply ahead and get to it from numerous gadgets utilizing the Internet as a medium.

Organizations utilize cloud storage to store records and offer them with others. It helps in saving your imperative records and documents while in the meantime giving you a superior chance to team up on a venture with other individuals through information sharing. By and by, you can utilize it to store media documents and messages. It gives you relatively boundless information storage room. Likewise, it’s less expensive and more secure than conventional capacity mediums. No big surprise cloud storage is rapidly supplanting physical capacity frameworks!

Cloud Computing

You utilize cloud storage to spare and keep information. Cloud computing, then again, is a cloud technology which utilized to chip away at and finish indicated ventures. Cloud computing is connected with cloud storage in that you require to move information to the cloud storage before you can compose utilization of cloud computing frameworks. Once the data is transferred to the cloud, in any case, you or another person can route it into helpful substance and send it back to you.

Cloud computing is making strides in the computerized and business world. This is a result of its various advantages. It guarantees better joint effort, straightforwardness, effectiveness, and development in its answers. It additionally lessens obstructions to correspondence and gives you access to a more extensive group of onlookers, including clients and contractual workers.

Some recognizing factors between cloud storage and cloud computing includes:

  • Cloud computing requires higher preparing power than cloud storage. Cloud storage, then again, needs more storage room.
  • Cloud computing is basically focused towards organizations. Cloud storage, then again, is used both for expert and individual reasons.
  • Cloud storage is just an information stockpiling and sharing medium, while cloud computing enables you to remotely take a shot at and change information (for instance, coding an application remotely).

These are the basic contrasts between cloud storage and cloud computing frameworks. In as much as they are interconnected, they are diverse ideas and shouldn’t be tangled up.