Cloud computing is arguably the most innovative and disruptive component of worldwide I.T., which by 2020 will see over 100 billion devices and sensors accessing remote virtual datacentres managed by leading hosting providers.
In its simplest form cloud computing encompasses the outsourcing of datacentres and application services to a remote provider under a utility pricing model.
Typically, this ‘metered’ approach lowers costs and reduces complexity, giving IT leaders maximum business agility.
Within the next 10 years, its expected that roughly 80% of all computing, storage and e-commerce will take place in the cloud offering real, scalable benefits to ISVs, web developers and enterprise business in general.
We examine several below:
Broadly, cloud computing and its underlying technology known as virtualization allow an enterprise to consolidate several servers into one using a software concept known as “virtual machines”. This allows IT managers to simultaneously pursue lower costs and complexity.
On-demand / Pay-as-you-Go (PayG)
Cloud computing’s defining characteristic is its utility pricing model and “on-demand” payment structure that allows IT leaders the ability to only pay for the resources they consume in a “cloud bursting” paradigm. Once a seasonal spike in activity (e.g. Christmas e-commerce season) is over, developers can scale back resources and cost.
Virtual Internet, for instance, offers daily or monthly payment options to ensure you don’t pay for anything more than you need.
IT leaders can deploy virtual datacentres instantaneously around the world, allowing them to move applications, data and content closer to the end-user in emerging markets such as Singapore and Latin America.
Operating System Diversity
Ubuntu, Gentoo, CloudLinux and Windows are just a few (of the hundreds) of available pre-set OS images available “on-demand” via cloud control panels. This speeds up application development and simplifies the operational structures of traditional IT departments.
IT departments and ISVs can immediately tap into established Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms and market the credibility, reliability and network robustness of their hosting partner to their client base. For instance, Virtual Internet is one of the few providers to hold both ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications, establishing further “trust credentials” for IT leaders and the clients they build web apps for.
Typically, a web developer or ISV may be able to roll out an e-commerce application five times faster than before and begin selling immediately on the remote Virtual Datacentre platform.
Leading hosting providers take extreme measures to secure applications, physical facilities and networks. Besides acquiring third-party certification, including ISO 27001 and SysTrust audits, they also implement further measures at the application, facility and network levels. This includes data encryption, biometric screening of personnel and certification through third-party vulnerability assessment programs.
The massive growth in cloud computing apps inside worldwide virtual datacentres will allow IT teams to share information across clouds and communities of clouds. These standard-based frameworks and APIs allow programmatic access for users, partners (and others) who need to leverage advanced functionality from within the remote cloud (including private, public, hybrid and federal clouds).
While the term cloud computing is typically seen as a ‘marketing’ expression, the virtualisation software underlying it is very real and revolutionising worldwide IT. Lower costs, lower complexity and accelerated application development are tangible benefits that IT leaders can leverage almost immediately in the form of a publically hosted cloud. More advanced IT departments can also explore private and hybrid clouds as part their broader business strategy.
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