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  • Clouds are set but the rains are not yet tries to explore the current scenario of Cloud ComputingCloud Computing has gained a lot of interest recently. In simple English cloud computing is a concept that aims to enable end-users to easily create and use software without a need to worry about the technical implementations and nitty-gritties such as the softwareís physical hosting location, hardware specifications, efficiency of data processing, and so forth. Itís the movement of application services onto the Internet and the increased use of the Internet to access a wide variety of services. tries to explore the current scenario of Cloud Computing with this article.

    Cloud Computing Service Offerings

    • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) displaces in-house servers, storage and networks by providing those resources on-demand.
    • Platform as a service (PaaS) adds a layer to the infrastructure, providing a platform upon which applications can be written and deployed.
    • Software as a service (SaaS) refers to applications running on cloud infrastructures, typically delivered to the end user via a web browser.
    • Human as a Service (HuaaS) some services rely on massive-scale aggregation and extraction of information from crowds of people. Each individual in the crowd may use whatever technology or tools he or she see fit to solve the task.

    Characteristics of Cloud Computing

    • On-demand access. Cloud computing offers rapid fulfillment of demand for computing and has the continuing ability to fulfill that demand as required.
    • Elasticity. Computing is provided in the amount required and disposed of when no longer needed.
    • Pay per use. Much like a utility, cloud resource charges are based on the quantity used.
    • Connectivity. All of the servers are connected to a high-speed network that allows data to flow to the Internet, as well as between computing and storage elements.
    • Resource pooling. The cloud providerís infrastructure is shared across some number of end customers, providing economies of scale at the computing and services layers.
    • Abstracted infrastructure. The cloud end customers do not know the exact locations or the type(s) of computer(s) their applications are running on. Instead, the cloud provider provides performance metrics to guarantee a minimum performance level.
    • Little or no commitment. This is an important aspect of todayís cloud-computing offerings, but as we will see here, it interferes with delivery of the services the enterprise demands.

    Market Size & Current Investments

    Research outfit Gartner describes this opportunity as the most hyped subject in the IT industry. IDC, another leading firm, estimated that cloud IT spending was at $16,325 million in 2008 and would reach $42,270 million by 2012.CAGR of 27%.It means this Cloud computing will not even crack 10% of $493,173 million (by 2012) IT Spending 2 years from now. But the IT Suppliers have started focusing more on the cloud Computing and hence this could trigger the wave of the cloud computing from 2013.

    Research analysts of Merrill Lynch identified 10 companies with exposure to the Cloud, as well as a number of other promising Cloud computing service providers and enablers. Amazon is perceived as one of the major players in the business, offering a wide range of prominent Cloud computing services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service, SimpleDB and Simple Queueing Service (SQS).

    Potential Risks involved

    Cloud solutions are seen as having the potential to both dramatically reduce costs and increase the rapidity of development of applications. However, the security readiness of cloud computing is commonly cited among IT executives as the primary barrier preventing organizations from immediately leveraging this new technology.

    The cloud provider can accidentally allocate insufficient resources to the customer, which can degrade the performance of the customerís services and cause him to miss his Service Level Agreements.

    The machines in the cloud can be mis-configured or defective and can consequently corrupt the customerís data or cause his computation to return incorrect results .There are quite a few of them as above.

    Outlook and Future

    Many of the current cloud end customers use price as their primary decision criterion. As a result, service providersí offerings tend toward a least common denominator, determined by the realities of providing cloud services at the lowest possible price. At the same time, the cloud-computing market is becoming more crowded. Due to this, many of the End users /Clients go by the lowest pricing decisions. But whatever the analysts, rating companies say, we still believe this is an Opportunity in its Infancy.

    Nevertheless to say, the Cloud Computing market has got a huge potential to grow & provide great cost reductions for the businesses. To get rains with this cloud, and make this service a GAMECHANGER, the service providerís must realize the gaps in this technology and fill them at the earliest.

    Next Up: Some Mind-blowing Toons from our Cartoonist Sakshi - Tomorrow!
    - Keep watching this space...

    Epilogue to this article - Cartoon series on Cloud Computing:!!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. software-engineer's Avatar
      software-engineer -
      My 2 cents on Cloud Computing,

      we have been hearing a lot about Cloud Computing nowadays as this term recently got popularity when giants like IBM, Google, Amazon started publicizing benefits of having offering services to small and mid sized companies who may not be willing to invest a hefty amount to start their online business.

      Here is my understanding about Cloud [could be hazy but that's what the Cloud is after all]:

      1. This is not a new concept and it’s there in market from several years. For example: Maruti Udyog has hosted their site in Hughes Network Systems from last 10+ years. So, the concept of providing services is not new. However, putting together all these kind of services [SaaS, IaaS, PaaS] could be new.
      2. Clouds can be very beneficial for mid-sized and small-sized companies who don’t want to take pain of establishing and maintaining their own datacenters and platforms. Scalability and time-to-market are key benefits.
      3. Reliability and Security of Data would be a key concern for any business. So, it would be biggest challenge going forward for Cloud owners.

      We work in a world where eCommerce has enormous growth prospects. So, let's discuss about Cloud keeping eCommerce world in perspective:
      1. Business owners will get vast range of selection from different ecommerce frameworks without having in-house POC for different available frameworks and products [cost saving]

      2. Scalability for a limited period: Clouds can be utilized as pay-as-you-go services as well. So, in festive season business owners can increase the capability of cluster by just paying rent for that period [huge impact on reducing cost and increasing sales]

      3. Clouds can have basic B2B and B2C kind of implementation [leveraging any ecommerce framework like ATG, ElasticPath etc] and expose it as service. It would be similar to on-demand solutions [time-to-market]
      4. Build vs Buy: Cloud would be capable of offering services at lower cost as compare to building in-house solutions. This would be key selling feature.
      5. High Availability: Clouds can play significant role in high availability of site. Based upon contract with companies, Cloud owner can take a decision to scale capacity and later charge for it.
      6. Accountability: Cloud owner would be accountable for up-time of site which will attract ebusiness owners.
      These are just initial thoughts and there's lot more to come...