Cloud Computing- The future of computing? – Part I
Posted by decipherinfosys on July 10, 2009
Cloud Computing – A buzz word that is frequently murmured everywhere by the IT folks or even by the non-IT people recently. This post describes what it really means to the beginners those who are interested or looking into cloud computing.
Cloud computing is a computing model where the infrastructure and the application (even the platform) is offered as a service over the Internet. The infrastructure cloud could include servers and storage and the application cloud includes various applications. This is a major shift in the industry in the way that software and services are going to be delivered in the future. At the center of cloud computing is the virtualization technology which we have talked about a lot in the past. Virtualization technology through resource pooling provides the engine that drives much of the cloud. Companies such as Google, Amazon have already started using their server farms and offering services and Microsoft is not far behind with their Azure service.
Even though cloud computing can be classified into many different types, the major ones are Public clouds, Private clouds, Hybrid clouds and Community Clouds.
Public clouds – As the name suggests, it is usually offered by a company who has invested a lot building their datacenter and offering a part of its infrastructure and platform for a monthly fee. Amazon, Terremark, RackSpace and Google are great examples of public clouds. And Microsoft is joining the game as well with their Azure services platform.
Private clouds – This is something that enterprises build by themselves to be utilized across their organization. This allows them to consolidate their servers (and storage) as a single entity that can be offered to their different business units as needed. There is an interesting article from Network World can be found here.
Hybrid clouds – This is an emerging area of cloud computing where the private and public clouds can be integrated. There are many factors such as security and application compatibility needs to be considered in this model.
Community clouds – These are clouds that are shared by organizations having common interests. This is similar to the IT-SSO post that we had done a couple of days ago.
Driving factors for moving towards cloud omputing:
The recent developments in the virtualization technology gave a big boost to cloud computing. There are many reasons that drive the cloud computing. Some of them are:
• Rapid deployment of servers and applications
• Easier scalability
• Allowing IT to run as a cost center by running multiple datacenters as single entity which can be shared and charged back based on usage
• Cost efficient “pay as you go/use” pricing model
• Greener initiative due to less power consumption since the shared capacity of a virtualized cloud data center reduces the power consumption for everyone.
Apart from its benefits, there are still few concerns about the security, compliance, performance and the application compatibility with cloud computing. However, they are being addressed by the cloud vendors.
We will look into some of the cloud services in-depth in Part II