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Thread: Cloud Computing

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    Cloud Computing

    You may be interested in knowing about Cloud Computing, an article written by us, which has been posted on the IT Professionals Forum reads the following:

    Spending numerous precious hours on obtaining the easiest explanation of what cloud computing essentially is without all of the technical definitions and jargon was time well spent in light of how much info there is on this subject itself.

    Cloud computing is an universal term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.

    A cloud service has three distinct features that distinguish it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic – meaning that the user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.

    A cloud can be private or public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. (Currently, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.) A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. When a service provider uses public cloud resources to create their private cloud, the result is called a virtual private cloud. Private or public, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

    In cloud computing models, customers do not own the infrastructure they are using; they basically rent it, or pay as they use it. The loss of control is seen as a negative, but it is generally out-weighed by several positives. One of the major advantages of cloud computing is lower costs. Companies will have lower technology-based capital expenditures, which should enable companies to focus their money on delivering the goods and services that they specialize in. There will be more device and location independence, enabling users to access systems no matter where they are located or what kind of device they are using. The sharing of costs and resources amongst so many users will also allow for efficiencies and cost savings around things like performance, load balancing, and even locations (locating data centers and infrastructure in areas with lower real estate costs, for example). Cloud computing is also thought to affect reliability and scalability in positive ways. One of the major topics in information technology today is data security. In a cloud infrastructure, security typically improves overall, although there are concerns about the loss of control over some sensitive data. Finally, cloud computing results in improved resource utilization, which is good for the sustainability movement (i.e. green technology or clean technology.)

    So what’s foreseen in the future for cloud computing? Well technology experts and stakeholders say they expect they will ‘live mostly in the cloud’ in 2020 and not on the desktop, working mostly through cyberspace-based applications accessed through networked devices. This will substantially advance mobile connectivity through smartphones and other internet appliances. Many say there will be a cloud-desktop hybrid. Still, cloud computing has many difficult hurdles to overcome, including concerns tied to the availability of broadband spectrum, the ability of diverse systems to work together, security, privacy, and quality of service.
    Comments are welcome.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The loss of control is seen as a negative
    That's the bit I'm struggling to get over. I prefer my company data on my company's machines in my company's LAN behind my company's hardware firewall...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Interesting you say this Dave because there was a discussion about the Business Intelligence space using cloud and it seems majority of the opinion is that they will won't trust having their most valuable data on the cloud.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    That's the bit I'm struggling to get over. I prefer my company data on my company's machines in my company's LAN behind my company's hardware firewall...
    of course, you DO realise that just one disgruntled IT savvy employee could quite easily share all that info with anyone they choose.

    I wonder if companies have a firm and seriously threatening policy relating to company info, and if the employees are made aware of the seriousness of it.

    Just a thought.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveob View Post
    of course, you DO realise that just one disgruntled IT savvy employee could quite easily share all that info with anyone they choose.
    Just the same as if you use a cloud

    Yet another reason to keep it in the company - such an employee is more likely to be within arm's reach
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member twinscythe12332's Avatar
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    I once requested to telecommute because I thought it would be better than coming into the office every day. after all, I would be using my own PC to get the work done (a much faster and better machine), I'd save in resources to get me to work, and whe I had free time I wouldn't have to be sitting there doing diddly squat, I could use that time for other things.

    my bosses disagreed saying that they wanted me to be on premises. Funnily enough, I found that the same reasons for that apply to cloud computing:
    -their information would have to be off premises. Does your company really want it to be available somewhere else?
    -You get the promise of powerful machines and constant upgrades, but they're not going to be dedicated. so your machine may not always be working for you.
    -If (for example) my internet connection glitched or I had any problems whatsoever, how was I meant to continue working? I would be cut off from the main branch.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I only see cloud computing becoming popular if it's driven by the application writers and software houses. They like the idea of having more control over their product plus an ongoing income stream so they're going to drive the change and just try to convince the customers it's for their benifit. In the not too distant future you'll simply have no choice once there's no longer locally installable office applications plus a little well engineered obselescence for good measure. You'd better just start sucking it up and towing the line.
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    Gold Member twinscythe12332's Avatar
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    maybe, but there are plenty of products that become obsolete simply because the public gives them the finger. If the trend is for businesses to give cloud computing the finger, it's going to become niche, or the software houses are going to move onto the next big thing. cloud computing is nothing new.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I do think that there is great value to be had from cloud computing though. We use many different software products for drawing, pc board design, 3D modeling, cnc machining etc. These products are not used all the time, but when they are needed, one needs to have state of the art software. I think that a large percentage of software is pirated for this exact reason. I am far more willing to spend a couple of bucks to use a state of the art program online, than have to spend thousands every time I need to use or R&D with a product.

    This is the way I see cloud computing working: You subscibe to different online products using different pricing models i.e. Microsoft office R 30 per month with a year contract, or R3 per hour. Then one could also use state of the art software at much higher hourly rates. One could then also have access to online support - i.e. for an additional R 10 per month somebody could help you online to sort out your spreadsheet. There would be no need to sell and supply desktop software and software piracy would dissapear. The main driver would be keen pricing models that makes money through sheer user volumes.

    A nice example of a brilliant online product is PixLr - www.pixlr.com
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    please can anyone provide me complete information about cloud computing.

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