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Bombarded with the term Cloud. But what is Cloud again?

on Tuesday, 01 May 2012. Posted in General

We are bombarded with the term Cloud some years now. But what is Cloud? I feel almost no longer taken seriously if I use the word Cloud. It is becomming a real buzzword, or not?! A lot of entrepreneurs sees Cloud computing as hype. All signs show that this virtual Cloud will not just blow over. No it's going to stay.

Recent figures from Microsoft show that small and medium sized organisations who already work in the cloud are very satisfied and this number is growing daily.

Basically it comes down to this; Cloud computing is a metaphor used by Technology or IT Services companies for the delivery of computing requirements as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients. But that is just one definition! let's take another 'different' approach. Cloud Computing makes it possible for both small and large organizations and individual users to take space. The management, updates and application developments are owned by the provider of the Cloud Computing solution. In this way it is not necessary for users to own knowledge and hardware in our homes, there is a higher Performance achieved at reduced costs. Still Fuzzy? Probably because you still do not know exactly what you get.

Public cloud is not yet mature. Private cloud paves the way for public Cloud services. Until that time, they will be used in a hybrid manner. It will take years, perhaps decades, before the public Cloud is so mature that private Clouds are no longer required. The investments that companies make in private Clouds makes them easier to switch in future public Cloud services. For services which are keen to run in the Cloud, organizations must now consider what constitutes a private Cloud. Organizations must identify the service which fits within an (external) Cloud environment and which services require greater integration and should be closer to the company.

That said, it seems we talking about services. Cloud is a lot, It's not just one thing. Google apps, Hotmail, Mozy, Zimbra, Office365 are Cloud services too. We use these applications for many years now without probably knowing these are Cloud services too. Each of these services is translated into a functional requirement from within an organization. If you already have to renew or migrate that's your starting point in my opinion. Find out what businesses would fit a Cloud solution and come up with an organization-wide cloud initiative.

There are three types (with differences in level of flexibility for the user):

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

Virtualization is the catalyst for Cloud, since it's the enabling technology allowing the creation of an intelligent abstraction layer which hides the complexity of underlying hardware or software. Virtualization enables different operating systems to share the same hardware and make it easy to move operating systems, all while the applications are running. Virtualization enables flexibility and agility. Start converge your traditional data center to a more Virtual Data Center and extension to Cloud infrastructure. While doing this do not lose sight how business processes and services requirements will impact a Virtual Data Centerin preparation for Cloud planning and design.

So, Cloud is more a collective name for various business services. Create a portfolio of your services. Devise a strategy for business services and private cloud. Make it clear what opportunities exist for your company when cloud computing becomes popular if this has not been already. Set an overall Cloud strategy for your company and final form a team that investigates what the wishes of the company and the possibilities of cloud vendors are.

Cloud is not one thing!

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