The Future of Cloud Computing

The Future of Cloud Computing
By Tommy Wald, President & CEO, RIATA Technologies, Inc.
I remember when I started my career in computing in 1983, when our primary form of computing consisted of centralized mainframe/midframe computers accessed by simple dumb terminals. Since then our industry has swung from a centralized form of computing to a decentralized form of computing in which the majority of the processing power is on the desktop.

Well guess what? It appears the industry in now heading back to the same form of centralized computing in what is commonly referred to as ‘Cloud Computing’.

What is Cloud Computing?
According to Wikipedia: A way of computing, via the Internet, that broadly shares computer resources instead of having local servers that handle specific applications. Simply stated “Cloud” is a metaphor for the internet.

In a Cloud environment, users do not have or need knowledge, control, ownership in the computer infrastructure. They simply rent or access the software, paying only for what they use. This is compelling since it eliminates capital expenditures for IT.

Companies Leading the Charge
Google is one of several large players making substantial investments for delivering Cloud services. Their data centers and network are made up of millions of cheap servers that store staggering amounts of data, including numerous copies of the world wide web.
Google has been investing more than $2 billion a year in data centers for cloud computing and is considered by far the leader in this technology. Their ‘Google Apps’, which include gMail, gDocs, iCalendar and others, are available for FREE with limitations and are rapidly being adopted by millions of individual users and small businesses.

Amazon is another big player in the emerging Cloud industry. Their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon EC2, provides a platform for dynamically sizing computing capacity and facilitates the development of web-scale applications. This platform reduces the time provision and implement new servers from weeks to minutes and provides the added benefit of paying only for capacity that is actually being used.

Microsoft’s ‘Azure’ is yet another platform that provides an Internet cloud computing platform hosted in Microsoft’s data centers and provides a range of functionality to build applications. The Azure platform is designed to help developers quickly and easily create, deploy, manage, and distribute web services and applications on the internet.

Each of these companies are investing billions of dollars each year in developing their own specialized data centers designed to deliver on the promise of Cloud Computing.

Benefits of Cloud
What do Cloud Services offer an organization? Cloud computing will lead to an increasing benefits in the areas of virtualization, usability, standardization and scalability.

There are 3 major uses of Cloud services which include:

  • Software as a Service
  • Infrastructure as a Service
  • Platform as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) applications operate in the Cloud. Popular examples of this are, Great Plains Dynamics, and Exchange. Customers can utilize greater computing power while saving on cost, space, power consumption and facility.

Infrastructure as a Service is the total outsourcing of the server and server infrastructure. This is a model in which all servers are hosted in the data center. Businesses do not have to purchase servers, software or equipment. Maintenance, upgrades, licensing and uptime are managed by the provider.

Platform as a Service provides all the facilities necessary to support the complete process of building and delivering web applications and services, all available over the internet.

Key benefits of Cloud Services includes:

  • Reduced Hardware equipment for end users
  • Improved Performance
  • Lower Hardware and Software Maintenance
  • Instant Software Updates
  • Accessibility
  • Less Expensive (Amazon example)
  • Better Collaboration
  • Pay for what you use
  • Flexible

Cloud is Not All Good.
These benefits are all very attractive and compelling until the Cloud goes down which could be caused by telecommunications breakdown, server farm disaster, data recovery issue, or security breach. Security appears to be the key issue facing Cloud adoption at this time.

Other potential issues that may delay adoption of a Cloud computing model include:

  • Multi-tenancy clouds may clash against security, privacy and compliance requirements
  • Economics of the new charging model may not stack up
  • Risk of vendor lock in
  • Some degree of reliability and control is sacrificed
  • Integration of Cloud applications may prove difficult and expensive down the line
  • Standardized models and workloads may limit custom applications

Cloud Services Today
Today, many companies are only using cloud computing for small projects. Trust hasn’t been accepted and details such as licensing, privacy, security, compliance and network monitoring need to be finalized for the trust to be realized.

Investments in Cloud solutions are expected to triple by 2012, from $16 billion to $42 billion. So eventually, these issues will be addressed and organizations will increasingly adopt Cloud solutions as part of their overall IT strategy. Many experts predict that Cloud computing will be the foundation of the next 20 years of IT technology.

Bryan Antepara: IT Specialist

Bryan Antepara is a leader in Cloud engagements with a demonstrated history of digital transformation of business processes with the user of Microsoft Technologies powered by the team of eMazzanti Technologies engineers.

Bryan has a strong experience working with Office 365 cloud solutions, Business Process, Internet Information Services (IIS), Microsoft Office Suite, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Customer Service.

He has the ability to handle the complexity of moving data in and out of containers and cloud sessions, makes him the perfect candidate to help organizations large and small migrate to new and more efficient platforms.  Bryan is a graduate of the University of South Florida and is Microsoft Certification holder.



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