Disruptive forces of cloud computing

Clearly, there seems to be a lot of buzz about cloud computing lately: What it is and what it is not. Another technology fad or probably an entirely new exciting paradigm in IT service delivery. Whatever the definition may be, I think we need to demystify the terminology and understand that the world of IT delivery is moving away from the conventional on-premise model. Cloud computing opens up an entirely new IT delivery path which provides a wholly new alternative to acquiring software, platforms and IT infrastructure as your business grows. Services are now accessed over the web and accessed on demand from any location.

Gartner defines cloud computing as “a style of computing in which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ using Internet technologies to multiple external customers.” Beyond the Gartner definition, clouds are marked by self-service interfaces that let customers acquire resources at any time and get rid of them the instant they are no longer needed.

Public vs. Private Cloud

A public cloud is a service that anyone can tap into with a network connection and a credit card. Public clouds are shared infrastructures with pay-as-you-go economics and are easily accessible, multitenant virtualized infrastructures that are managed via a self-service portal.

A private cloud attempts to mimic the delivery models of public cloud vendors but does so entirely within the firewall for the benefit of an enterprise’s users. A private cloud would be highly virtualized, stringing together mass quantities of IT infrastructure into one or a few easily managed logical resource pools.

To give you an idea about the growth magnitude of cloud services, here are some statistics:

By 2011, early technology adopters will forgo capital expenditures and instead purchase 40 percent of their IT infrastructure as a service,” states Gartner Group. “Increased high-speed bandwidth makes it practical to locate infrastructure at other sites and still receive the same response times.

By 2013, 12 percent of world software market will be Internet based forms of SaaS and cloud computing, according to Merrill Lynch.

Some of the most immediate and obvious benefits of cloud based services are low start up costs, low costs for sporadic use, ease of management, complete scalability, device and location independence and rapid incremental innovation.

Despite these immediate advantages, the cloud phenomenon is still new and not time tested. There are some concerns about the reliability and security of data and about the limitations of service offerings from the cloud. Is it the best fit for your business processes? What is the total cost of ownership pattern? What are the various security risks associated when transiting to a cloud based network? And how can NetEnrich help?