Technology Paradigm Shift
Cloud computing is still not mature enough to give a final verdict about its usability. However, there is no doubt that there is a constant paradigm shift to cloud based computing. Before you shift your business or infrastructure to cloud based technology, you must learn some of the basic concepts about cloud-based technology, about its working and what are its pros and cons.
Below are some frequently asked questions about this latest technology.
1. What does cloud-based computing really mean?
Cloud-based computing is basically a service and solution providing technique in which companies get all the business solutions and most of the infrastructure through web and shared resources. They don’t have to buy the solution itself or any software, but they just have to pay for its usage just like any utility bill depending on how much you use something.
2. What benefits does your business get through cloud-based technology
Cloud based technology offers many advantages to your computer, including easy to use and implement, cost effective, more specialization in tasks, and reducing maintenance costs. Most importantly you don’t have to look after many computer servers, IT staff, and related operations. Let others take this responsibility.
3. What services does cloud-based technology offer?
All server based services plus almost all types of software solutions and business management tools are provided by cloud based vendors. However, you have to be careful about some cases where you are legally or ethically bound to keep the personal data of your customers in your own managed systems.
4. For how much cost?
The cloud based service vendors mostly charge by metering the usage of their services. The charges may depend upon type and usage of the service. For example, the charges for storage servers may be $0.12-$0.15 per GB per month or $0.10- $1.2 per hour for Linux and Windows servers.
5. What are the drawbacks of cloud-based services
Cloud based computing is a new technology and still has to mature in its processes, practices, and standards.
Here are four main concerns which companies express while dealing with cloud based service vendors.
Cloud services mostly have multiple customers sharing the same resources (servers). Although much of the risk is mitigated by encryption techniques and security specialists of the vendors, but still there may be some risks.
This is one of the main drawbacks which the industry needs to resolve together as early as possible, if they really want CTOs to be demanding their services on larger scale. They have to agree on some protocols and standard to make their servers compatible and interoperable.
* Licensing issues
The traditional software licenses need to be updated for their use in cloud based services. When you shift from many servers to one giant cloud based server, will it also change many of your software licenses to one? It is not that simple. Software vendors are trying to replace the old licensing models with the new ones which can be useful for cloud based services as well. But they have to achieve it yet.
* SLA details
The 100% up-time does not really mean 100%. Some cloud based vendors offer 100% up-time, but detailed study of their terms and conditions reveal, it was not actually 100%. If the vendors have to earn the trust and confidence of CTOs, they will have to clearly explain what they will do when some inevitable down-time occurs.
6. What next?
More competition among vendors
There’s a constant increase in number of vendors coming to this business. With increase in competition comes quality and affordable price. Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Microsoft, and Sun are trying to represent themselves as market leaders in this new business.
With the passage of time vendors will be offering better technology with decreased charges and improved, established and mature practices.
In coming years there will be standardization of protocols and tools that will allow working with multiple cloud vendors at the same time and will make the transfer of data, queries and information easy.
By Glenn Blake