Monday, May 2, 2011

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often vertualized resources are provided as a service over the internet.Cloud computing is a relatively new technology that will give small to mid-size companies the compute power needed to compete in the market place without having to burden themselves with the high cost of purchasing additional computers, storage and all the extra equipment that is usually needed. It’s secure, fast, scalable, global in nature and design, powerful, stable and green. In short, it brings high end computing power and storage to every business, with minimal upfront investment.
Thinking about the possibilities that this can bring also makes me think about the fear and hesitancy that will come along with it initially. We need to face the fact that we’re turning over a physical server to something that, in a lot of peoples minds, is far less tangible because they can’t see, touch or feel it. I know it goes without saying that most company executives don’t really walk into their Data Center on a regular basis but, they seem to feel secure knowing that they could if they wanted to.
Since this technology can really be best described as utility computing, a good analogy would be something similar to the electric company. Everyone has electricity in their home and office but very few people are physically generating that power on-site. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of applying the utility concept to computing power. That may sound pretty flippant but, in all reality the programming behind the cloud is absolutely amazing stuff.
Not only can single servers be put into the Cloud for a company but, the ability to place entire Data centers there exists right now. Could you imagine eliminating the data center or fish bowl in your office space and putting that real estate to use in a more efficient manner? It’s mind boggling how much money could potentially be saved with this technology.
Now the Windows / Linux / UNIX administrators can focus their attention on making sure things are running correctly, accounts are created and software is being deployed and not worry about chasing down and replacing failed hardware. All that together adds up to some pretty powerful solutions that are now available to everyone.

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