A colleague recently asked me for a good resource as an “Intro to the Cloud” I could not think of a single resource to point him to (there are SO MANY articles featuring bits and pieces about “The Cloud”). So, I wrote the following blog entry in response to his question…
Think of Cloud Computing as “IT Resources On Demand”: sort of like the power company. You don’t need to have your own generator at your house, and you can use as much power as you are able to pay for.
Benefits: lower capital expenditures (ex: less frequent equipment purchases, “rent” software instead of continually buying licenses), lower operational expenses (ex: decrease time-to-deployment and other IT administration costs).
Concerns: Regulatory compliance (ex: data management for audits, is my data secure?), availability (ex: high-profile outages at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Danger Sidekick, etc. )
There are 3 Deployment Models:
Public: When a company needs more computing power, it licenses capacity from a Service Provider for whatever term is required (ex: retailers during Christmas season)
Private: A company builds it’s own “Service Provider” in-house to service multiple departments\divisions with Chargeback to each internal customer to track costs.
Hybrid: a combination of Private and Public
In addition, there are 3 Solution Models (aka how “Cloudy” is your IT resource delivery?):
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – lease compute resources (servers, storage, etc) when you need them.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) – lease development environments on-demand (ex: VMware SpringSource, Microsoft Azure) with the underlying infrastructure already taken care of.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – lease software on-demand: rent instead of buy
Cloud computing is still in the early stages of adoption, and it is a great field to be in. Architecting, deploying, and managing these Cloud Infrastructures properly will continue to be a exciting challenge for the foreseeable future.
P.S. The following links contains some useful info:
http://vmtrooper.com/?p=68 (shameless plug of one of my previous articles 🙂 )