What does ‘The Cloud’ mean to you, how can you best use it, and will you be left standing if you don’t start migrating? These are all issues and questions that have provoked good debate on the forum over the past few months. So time for a re-cap.
What is cloud technology, asked Patricia Lytwynec. For Fred Held the cloud means faster connectivity. Gone are the days of slow telephone connections. In comes extremely high speed internet networks that are all over the world. ”The destination is the same but how you get there has changed,” he said.
Andrew Boswell said cloud technology is a way of delivering computing services over the internet. “These services replace computing functions you would otherwise have to provide yourself. For example: backup, file storage, office applications, games, business applications, just about anything. And you can access these services from wherever you are, using a wide variety of devices – PCs, MACs, smart phones, tablets etc.
He added: “The business benefits of the cloud include: low costs, wide variety of services, fast deployment in your company, less hassle to keep running.”
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US, cloud computing “is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
But isn’t cloud computing about more than just efficiency? As Roberta Caraglia said, the cloud should be seen as the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’: in other words, be seen as a new way to run your business?
“Cloud Computing is the foundation for a new and efficient way for one to run their business. There are so many advantages to building an infrastructure around cloud services,” said Maroln C Taylor.
It was Scott Maurice who raised the thorny issue of security. “The NIST definition is probably quite clear to IT practitioners, but will leave P & L owners with more questions than answers. For example, who shares the resources and how does that impact compliance and/or security?”
It’s one of many concerns. “By 2020 cloud computing is likely to be a standard part of enterprise IT; however, it faces a number of key challenges that will need to be addressed before it becomes pervasive,” said Jack Clark on ZD Net.
“So far we know that the following things are likely to happen: there will be larger clouds. Some of these clouds will link to others. Many services that businesses consume will sit on top of clouds. Software will be much, much larger.”
The question is how companies can deal with this and what challenges they’re going to face in getting these technologies up and running. In particular, operating at cloud scale means there will be more hardware and software failures and dealing with these failures will be an important issue.
Then there is the issue of standards. Does the lack of established cloud standards and interoperability make it difficult to move workloads between private clouds and public clouds? Some say this could hinder cloud adoption.
“Without any industry-wide cloud standards, vendors have built proprietary cloud services on software stacks that are not compatible with the stacks used in public clouds — making interoperability difficult,” said Clive Longbottom, managing director of Quocirca, a research and analysis firm in the UK.
So, when someone says ‘cloud’ to you, what’s your response? “What is that”, “How do I do it”, “security fears” or “international standards”?
Where are you on the cloud spectrum?
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