Cloud Computing | SERVERS

Cloud computing means that services are delivered through the Internet rather than through an in-house data center. Cloud computing has built-in scalability, efficiency, economies of scale, and cost savings. Applications run on fewer machines and you are able to consolidate servers. Operating system virtualization and other software helps companies create private clouds that improve utilization of computing resources. With cloud computing, you pay as you go, without large initial investments. Cloud computing can be hardware clouds (e.g., Elastic Computer Cloud offered by Amazon Web Services), software clouds (e.g., SaaS or, or desktop clouds (e.g., Google Docs, Yahoo's Zimbra, and Microsoft Live). As mentioned in Chapter 4, additional options and variations in cloud computing are emerging, such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and database-as-a-service (DaaS). Companies are creating their own in-house cloud services.
Currently there is a lot of hype about cloud computing. However, cloud computing seems to be in the early stages of implementation for most companies. Several firms interviewed had plans to make major moves, such as moving e-mail and collaboration to cloud computing and they hoped to realize savings as high as 50 percent. Some companies tried moving to cloud computing with test and development environments.
Top Tip: Cloud computing

"Using cloud computing for hosting services has created significant reduction in costs."
—Larry Bonfante

Top Tip: Cloud computing is an inexpensive option

"We are looking at cloud computing. It can be a good inexpensive option for certain things. We will save $120K by outsourcing student e-mail to the cloud as e-mail is a utility. We are looking at moving test and development environments to the cloud. We hope to develop a collaborative private cloud."
—Anne Agee
University of Massachusetts,

The following are cost implications to review when considering cloud computing:
  • Older applications may not be able to operate on a cloud and modifying them could be cost-prohibitive.
  • Mission-critical applications may not be the best place to start with cloud computing as you might want to prove reliability and performance.
  • Highly regulated industries may have compliance issues, concerns, or additional measures related to cloud computing and may not be the best candidates. No matter what industry you are in, address data protection and content management challenges.
  • Reliability and availability is an issue affecting costs. Understand your business needs and make sure the vendor meets your requirements. Some vendors allow you to pay less for noncritical applications.
  • Define requirements and commitments including availability, performance, reporting, incident resolution, backup, disaster recovery, capacity, and bandwidth in SLAs. Include contractual obligations with penalties for failure to deliver.
  • Have various levels of security, such as company-based security, role-based security, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) transport-level security.
  • Look at high-cost, underutilized parts of your environment to consider for cloud computing. For example, test environments may be a good place to start.
  • Understand your roles and responsibilities relative to cloud computing because it does not necessarily mean that everything is done for you.
  • Although the upfront investment for hardware and software is low, the costs may be spread out over months and years. Be sure you calculate the long-term cost of ownership when comparing costs. In addition, make sure you are comparing similar levels of high performance and best practices, such as content delivery, load balancing, and caching.
  • Pay attention to usage terms and fees because they can be a factor in mounting costs.