Monday, January 3, 2011

Cloud computing - A new trend in IT

Cloud computing has become the buzzword of IT industry. Recently I found a very interesting line at Sun's blog site. It says:-

"It's easy to get lost in all the talk about cloud computing. Everybody seems to have a cloud, connects to the cloud, is cloud-enabled, or at the least, is cloud-ready."

I never knew what cloud computing is all about. Reading the line above, I felt that I should at least try to get an overview of cloud computing. I searched the internet for articles on cloud computing to get an overview. By now, I do have an idea of what cloud computing is and want to document my thoughts.

In simple words, to me, cloud computing is all about moving applications outside the firewall of the enterprises to be hosted by third party. Users can access the applications via their browser or any other interface. The applications will be available to the users as a service over internet. Thus we can have any IT resource deployed as a service in a cloud computing system, be it applications, storage, networking, office tools or any other utility softwares. In a cloud computing system, the softwares like mail client, word processors, spreadsheets etc will all be loaded from the remote system. Users will be able to access and log into their system anytime, anywhere as they will be accessed via internet.

Now what is the important are the key benefits of cloud are computing. The most important of the key benefits is cost savings. It will bring down the hardware and software licensing costs largely thus saving capital expenditure for the enterprise. It also saves costs on infrastructure support staffs and space as the enterprises are not owning the infrastructure but renting them. Additionally it gives the enterprise users location and device independence. Users can always access their applications and on any device apart from laptops or desktops, like smartphones. On the flip side there are huge concerns regarding data security.

With whatever knowledge I’ve gained by reading through cloud computing articles, I do have some observation from my perspective. They are:-

· I believe cloud computing is the latest trend in IT industry and not a hype.

· It will take another 7-8 years for cloud computing to take-off.

· Successful implementation of cloud computing depends heavily on high-speed internet/telecom networks.

· Cloud computing can add great value to SMBs and startups (cost savings maximum).

· Cloud computing may turnout to be more expensive than what it promises to be.

Google and IBM seem to be leading the race in cloud computing space. Few sites that I found helpful in understanding cloud computing are:-

http://communication.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing.htm

http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/what-cloud-computing-really-means-031?page=0,0

http://blogs.sun.com/startups/entry/what_is_cloud_computing and download the guide.
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