The Cloud Computing
Recently more and more IT professional are talking about "The Cloud". "The Cloud"? What it is? "The Cloud" is a word reference to what we called "Cloud Computing". And what is Cloud computing actually means? Many IT professional are asking what would be the features, how does it works and how does it affect my business, operating environment and infrastructure?
Cloud computing is actually a resource delivery and it's usage model, which means that we get the resources (hardware and software) via the network which is the INTERNET. The network that providing the resources is called "The Cloud". And the underlying backend technology which driven the cloud computing is virtualization.
The cloud computing can be both software and infrastructure, it can be an application that you can access through internet, web or server that you provision when you need it, whether is in the form of software or hardware. Example would be, if you were walk to any internet caf or library and use any computer without preference of the operating system or browser to access a services, that services is a cloud based computing.
So what are the features of the cloud computing? Because of the technology called virtualization and the cloud, when adopted, many IT professional do not need to concern how messy is the backend infrastructure, power, storage, network and bandwidth, as all the problems will be taken care by the cloud service provider. And the benefits of cloud computing is because it's very scalability, with virtualization which driving the backend of it, IT professional can now increase or offer more service as of when it's needed without the needs of messy planning for computing power or infrastructure. There are various of services offered or rather infrastructure offered by those cloud service provider. Below is some of the services offered by various cloud service provider that the IT professional can choose to adapt or suit to their environment.
As more and more big computer company like IBM, HP, Dell, Microsoft and Amazon are jumping into the cloud technology, the technology has become more and more matured and reliable. Customers would be more confident to adopt such technology when it's get backing from those big company.
While we are looking at the benefits side of cloud computing, we should also need to look at or consider the weakness and difficulties when adopting such technology.
Before IT professional jump into the technology, they should review and assess their company IT compliance and policies. Example of a few difficulties that IT professional might encounter on the operating and using cloud services are consistency of services, data secrecy, interoperability and standardization and performance issue. And the difficulties that the IT professional that they might encounter on compliance and policies are regulatory compliance, data location, recovery support, auditing and investigation support.
For example, a bank could not move their operation to the cloud due to data secrecy and performance issue due to real time transaction. And when it comes to auditing, it's very hard for the auditors to audit the security and compliance of IT if they move it to the cloud.
Cloud computing can address many problem that IT professional are facing today in such ever demanding and fast moving pace in IT. One of the example that the cloud computing technology trying to address is IaaS (Infrastructure as a service). IaaS is the virtualized computing and storage foundation layer.
IaaS is the part of the cloud computing that providing bandwidth access over the internet. Bandwidth and server resources are the main elements of IaaS. IaaS architecture specifies dynamic scaling of bandwidth. And sometimes also can referred as "Everything as a Service" as it provide computing power as well as network bandwidth.
AWS (Amazon Web Service) is the largest of all IaaS services providers. IaaS provide the underlying underlying hardware and operating system resources to do anything you want. IaaS offers CPU, memory, storage, networking and security as a package. IaaS is the virtual machine in the sky. In general, with IaaS, you choose from a range of operating systems (usually some flavor of open source and close source), a size for your hardware (number of CPUs and CPU power) and an amount of storage. Below is the level of abstraction of cloud services.
In view of the maturity of the technology, cloud computing will be widely deploy in near future by most company unless the difficulties and weakness that hinders the company from moving to cloud technology.
With all the backing and support from all hardware as well as software vendors, companies and IT professional will have more confidence and comfortable moving the services to the cloud.