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What is cloud ?

December 5, 2011

Aditi  has forayed into the cloud computing by acquiring cloud computing company called cumulux. Cloud computing is latest buzzword in information technology space. It is being said that it will change the landscape of information technology. Technology evangelist are saying this new era in computing like we attributed past era’s in computing starting 60’s with main frame, 70’s with pc , 80’s with x86 servers, 90 with web, last decade with mobile computing. This will change how we design develop and deploy application.

With that perspective in mind I started learning about cloud. At least that is what is need of hour as far as my company and I am concerned right now.   Below are the main characteristics of cloud computing.

1)      Utility Computing :- One of major attribute of cloud computing is providing computing resources as utility like electricity and water supply. Anyone can subscribe utility computing and pay as they use. Recent advancement in hardware and storage technologies made it possible to source x86/x64 severs at very cheap price. This enabled to drive down the cost of data centers considerably. Data centers are able to pass on these cost savings to consumers in a from that consumer is billed what they use based on the how much storage they used or how many compute resource they needed.

2)      Elasticity : – Elasticity is another major attribute of cloud computing. Elasticity means scaling up and down computing resource whenever required.  Many times application usage spikes for certain period of time. In these scenarios companies have to over provision the compute resources. Once the spike is over this hardware is never utilized. This lead to wastage of excessive resources.  Cloud provides the ability to scale and scale down to consumer. That means consumer have to pay only the capacity what they actually use.

3)      Pooling of resources:- Cloud computing achieve high degree of utilization by pooling the computing resources together. Clouds are multi-tenant, this is how cloud achieve high utilization. Pool of resources are shared across the multiple customers. So the cost are shared across the multiple customers.

4)       Virtualization : Cloud computing is built on the foundation of virtualization technologies. It is underlying virtualization technologies which have enabled higher hardware utilization. One hardware server can host multiple servers. Virtualization has made it easy to build new servers with in fraction of time as opposed to original time taken to build new servers. This has led in reduction of cost to manage physical hardware. Less physical hardware means less cost for space, less cost for power consumption etc. Virtualization have enabled more automation of infrastructure services. So virtualization is key technology which have led to evolution of cloud computing more rapidly.

5)        Automation : – Most cloud provider provide user with the self-service portal where user can provision the computing resources with just few clicks as opposed to earlier models where based on the company, it might take months to provision new hardware. Underlying virtualization have made it possible to provision new computing resources with few clicks. This means more agility to business that was not possible before.

Above are major characteristics of cloud in my view, all of above point are picked after reading lots of articles about cloud computing. Stay tuned it is just beginning I am going to dump lot of stuff here. Of course I am not inventor I am just reading and rephrasing here. I cannot track the articles from where I am picking all this information so please bear with me.

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