Subhash was a smart, innovative and self-starter, 23 yrs old guy who started a small business with his limited budget. He always wanted to curtail the business expenses smartly and wanted to opt for smarter investment techniques. In the initial phase of his business he noticed he faced some really expensive and severe challenges. He enlisted the top challenges and one of them was buying hardware for each employee along with the software and their licenses which he discovered were extremely taxing. Moreover he detected other problems like storage capacity, keeping updates for newest software and ongoing trends in the market. He felt with every new hire more software were needed, such problems worsened the situation and distracted him from the goals of his business. He researched and finally chose Cloud computing- A smart and user friendly choice which is easy on pocket too.
In the earliest of days when Homo sapiens grew, they beautifully transformed themselves as humans from apes. Grew a little: understood basic needs- Food, clothing, shelter. Grew more- found mediums to fulfill those basic necessities. Then they started ‘Developing’, now they had farms for food, wells for water, mills for clothes, bricks for homes. Necessities give birth to utilities. Same scenario applies for business computing. One of the newest successful utility is Cloud Computing. Traditionally companies built their own in-house IT infrastructure catering to all the technical needs. But that involved expensive equipment and servers and installed everything locally – too much of hard work involved to make the ends meet! Things have changed. With the dawn of cloud computing a company can have a reliable and a safer business computing delivered like a utility service. We buy basic utilities for smooth functioning of our day to day lives, similarly we ‘BUY’ IT infrastructure as a service! Just spend for what we need and focus on the business not the technology.
Technically- What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the provision that allows the user to log into a web based service which hosts all the programs obligatory for completing the job. The cloud computing service provider runs everything ranging from emailing to word processing to different complex data analysis programs. The term ‘cloud’ actually refers to the network of computers which handle all the assigned respective tasks. Cloud computing service providers charge for the Maintenance and management of data inputs by clients. Cloud computing has emerged as the next big thing in the dome of application software, storage, hardware and platform flexibility that provides easy solutions to the most complex of things! The system favors all sizes of business but proves really fruitful for middle and small sized ones.
All one needs to avail the service is a basic computer system, web browser and the internet. It has become the lifeline of organizations who seek a simple solution to the compound problem of choosing and organizing software as per each employee’s area of work. Have you ever noticed every internet user prominently benefits from cloud computing? The finest examples of cloud computing are Gmail, Amazon web services, Google applications where a browser helps the user to access the application whenever she/he feels like.
How it works?
Knowing how cloud computing works is interesting. The structural design can be categorized into two main sections: Front end and back end. Front end is controlled by the end user or client or say the web browser who uses the cloud services. Back end is the network of servers with any computer program and data storage system that runs, handles and maintains the cloud (Succinctly- The service provider).
Cloud has a centralized server administration system. The centralized server administers the system, balances and adjusts client supply and demands, monitors traffic and avoids congestion. This server follows a set of rules (protocol) known as middleware. Middleware as the name suggests, is the intermediary that allows networked computers to communicate with each other. Observing the other side of the process one can rename cloud computing as green computing because it helps in successful conservation of power energy.
Can Cloud computing be pocket friendly?
Cloud computing is cost effective too. Unlike traditional computing, the service condenses “Hard Costs” like cost of hardware, infrastructure, software licenses, and “Soft costs” such as IT staffing, troubleshooting, energy costs to run the servers, desktops and cooling the entire server room. As far as data maintenance costs are involved they too are quite reduced as they are maintained by the service provider (They perform the complete set of tasks; from running the cloud to storing data). The need to high storage hard drives can be snubbed away as all the data is stored on a remote computer.
Breakdown of the system can cause the owner a serious nervous breakdown because of high data recovery and system repair costs, not to ignore the data loss. In such situations, of course the show goes on because the data can be operated from the remote computer from any place!
Market is in the favor of buyer. Since past three years number of service providers has swelled. In this computing arena we have crucial players like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Intel, and many others who are competing hard to build effective and impressive clouds for their clients..
Brownie points for Cloud computing users!
Cloud computing’s pros do not end here. Databases in cloud computing are very dynamic and scalable which means that local computers no longer have to deal with hefty applications that almost kills the speed of the local computer, and most importantly hardware and software demands on the user’s side decreases. But who plays the protagonist in the whole story of cloud computing? Answer is Data. The cloud not only builds, runs and maintains the data but it also secures it.
The data security is the top most priority in all the data operations of the cloud. Undoubtedly, the data is backed up at multiple locations. This is called redundancy of data- the most important attribute of cloud computing service. Another benefit of cloud computing is that the data accessibility is not limited to any particular hardware or storage device. The data can be accessed anytime and anywhere one needs to.
Is the right cloud chosen?
But there are some important concerns that one should not avoid before relying on the service. One of them is choosing the right form of cloud computing from:
ï‚· SAAS (Software As A Service): Where users rent application software and databases. It is commonly known as on demand software. For example: ADP (long time provider of payroll services), Google apps.
ï‚· IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service): Here the cloud providers provide their client with servers (as many as client needs) in exchange for the rent on each server. For example: “Amazon web services” is one of the most successful IAAS provider till date.
ï‚· PAAS (Platform As A Service): In this form of Cloud computing, users rent the complete package of servers plus the required software to use in them. For example: Salesforce.com is one of the much known PAAS provider.
As per the business needs, the user should tactfully choose the most appropriate form of cloud computing. Secondly, vital decision in selecting the right service provider proves fruitful in long run. One must make sure that the provider is reliable, is well-reputed for their customer service and satisfaction, and should have a proven track record in handling the respective business ventures. They should be prudently equipped with proper techniques where data is segregated in a clear and discrete manner. Data of different clients should be dealt with utmost care and confidentiality. Most importantly, cloud computing providers must be equipped with proper disaster recovery policies to deal with any unfortunate event in future. Cloud computing can be the apt choice which solves umpteen purposes in one go. It is the medium for getting the best performing system with the best value for money. The technology is worth embracing that tunes the business towards the set objectives. After all, in the arena when life is pacing at the speed of light, twenty four hours seem too precise to do the job. Business actually needs the undivided attention of the owner, technology can be taken care of by cloud computing service providers, then why risk energy, time and mental peace? When one just needs to spend money.