Monday, January 30, 2012

Entering the Cloud

You and your friends have recently graduated from college and have a great idea for a start-up. Excited about a potential rags-to-riches scenario, you start to think about what you need. You probably cannot run everything from your desktop computer so you are going to need the backbone of all networking startups: a datacenter. This datacenter will serve as your office space, power, storage, servers, etc. Now to keep your datacenter running, you will need a stack of the most up-to-date software plus an IT team to take care of your datacenter. By the time you finished setting everything up, you have already invested large amounts of money without touching your start-up idea. Enter cloud computing.

Cloud computing is another way of running a business. Instead of running your applications yourself, your business will be running on a shared datacenter. Think of cloud computing as a model where anyone anywhere has on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources; these resources can be anything ranging from servers to applications to services. Chances are that you have already used cloud computing: Gmail. When you try to access your email, you do not need a server or database to store your emails nor do you need an IT team. Google takes care of all these issues while users only need a username and password to instantly access their emails.

So why cloud computing? One of its biggest traits is scalability; as companies such as Reddit rapidly grow in size, borrowing dynamic resources from the cloud is much easier than physically buying more infrastructures. Unlike the old days, businesses can be upgraded and up and running in a few days. Likewise, costs are less because companies do not need to pay for the facilities or people to maintain their virtual servers. Instead, they only pay for what they use (think water utility).

As cloud computing becomes more reliable and feasible, we are starting to see a trend from the traditional network to a “cloud” network. This new network can grow and shrink based on consumption needs and accommodate rapidly changing businesses. Sharing information technology is already well-established in society, especially among research institutes, and many feel this could take that level of collaboration to the next level.

Already, companies such as Microsoft and Amazon have devoted mass datacenters to provide commercial cloud services to organizations. As more and more businesses depend on the same cloud services, our network will become more and more closely connected.


No comments:

Post a Comment