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Cloud Computing


Ashish Jain

January 18, 2011

Cloud has become such a buzzword lately that I have had a few non-technical friends of mine asking me what it is. Candidly, I will admit, I could not answer the question at that time. I did however read more and more about it which has made me an admirer of the very concept of cloud.

If I were asked today what cloud computing is, I would’ve said it is more of an idea than a technology. Roughly put, cloud is an environment where applications and data can reside and execute in a sandboxed host framework that performs dynamic resource allocation for its processes.

Before most people realized, cloud had indirectly become an indispensable part of their lives because of the online services they used. There are many organizations today which have already ventured into this territory or are planning to, in the near future. But beware, when you run to your boss about the cool idea of hosting your next application on cloud since technology giants like Google and Microsoft are doing it, he might correctly ask, why so. Alright, let’s try to find you an answer.

Servers have to be bought or hired keeping in mind the resources that the hosted applications will need or uhhh… eventually need during peak load conditions. Doesn’t this mean you are buying or renting resources you only use 5%, maybe 10% of the time?

From what I have come to understand, organizations, mostly depending on the scale of their requirement, may have different rationale behind switching to cloud. Larger organizations may need to host applications that need humongous amount of resources in terms of storage space, RAM consumption and CPU load. They benefit from the dynamic allocation capabilities of cloud where available resources are automatically scaled up or down based on the applications’ requirements.

This means smaller organizations should ignore cloud altogether and look somewhere else, right? Not at all. Small and even medium sized organizations may very well benefit from the pay-as-you-go billing system that many of the cloud providers have adopted. For cost conscious consumers, this means availability of powerful infrastructure for a fraction of the cost.

Since most of the cloud providers host your applications in modern data centers, you get access to an elite hosting infrastructure that’s highly available, powerful, may be even geo-redundant (and many more big words I can’t remember right now). That’s technology at a reasonable price for you, sir.

Sounds like a dream? It’s probably the right time to wake up to a cloudy day.

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