Monday, November 28, 2011

Unclouding the Concepts of Cloud Computing

An interview with Mikael Ekstrom, eBuilder Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Product Management

Unclouding the Concepts of Cloud Computing

Most people today have heard of "cloud computing." But how many really know what this term means?

Currently, there are many definitions and much that confuses. Lately I have heard many people ask for help in understanding what cloud computing is and how it can help them practically--"How can cloud computing be better than using our own IT department?" Often those I have talked with have been looking for companies that offer "cloud solutions," an area in which it is difficult to get help today. So I would like to explain some of the trends, concepts, and services that exist in the area of cloud computing.

Global Logistics Media (GLM): Could you start by defining some of the basic terminology?
Sure, let me define our terms.
The term "cloud" comes from the common representation of the Internet in computer network diagrams. The point of using the symbol of the cloud is that it depicts a network abstracted from its concrete infrastructure. In other words, it's a generalized symbol for a network without any details of the network's constituent parts like servers, cables, routers, firewalls, etc.
The term "cloud computing" refers to processing (and its related data) that takes place "in the cloud" and is accessed via a network, but the location of the processing is not specified or necessarily static. This, for example, contrasts with cases in which the processing and data storage are on known servers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States defines cloud computing as "...a model for enabling 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." That is a good IT definition, and I would like to emphasize that today it is not only a model, but a reality.

GLM: You mention the "reality" of what is out there, and, yes, there certainly are a lot of cloud computing and cloud-related services available today. Why?
Part of the answer is that cloud computing offers, among other things, functionality that would be prohibitively expensive to invest in but which is made affordable because it is shared among many users. The functionality is more readily available than if it were requested from, and implemented by, your own data center. Additionally, it reduces your dependence on your data center and IT staff because someone else hosts and operates the service(s) you access in the cloud. Hosting the services in the cloud enables you to take advantage of the focused operations expertise that is otherwise difficult to hire and retain. And perhaps most important, cloud computing also provides functionality whose delivery is easily accessible, scalable, and flexible.

GLM: Accessible, scalable, and flexible?
That is right. Advanced virtualization of networks, servers, storage, and applications; combined with standardization and automation, provide on-demand scalability and flexibility far beyond the capacity and capability of most IT departments. Cloud computing is a quantum step beyond what most organizations' data centers can provide. This does not mean that securing these services and ensuring that they meet your requirements is without problems. But the brute facts are that massive, highly-available, scalable (up and down) and therefore very flexible technology is readily available at very advantageous rates.

GLM: OK, there is much new technology available, and with that comes numerous acronyms. Can you disperse some of the fog?
Let's start with IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, which I am sure most of your readers have encountered. I'll use my own condensed versions of NIST's definitions. First, is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS is the providing of "processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications." Think of how quickly you might access "fundamental computing resources" such as processing capacity or storage over the Internet in contrast to the lead time required to obtain these resources in-house via your IT department.
Second, is Platform as a Service (PaaS). PaaS refers to providing customers with the capability "to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the PaaS provider." Thus the PaaS provider is making a software development environment available to developers, and the PaaS provider hosts the applications, which are made available to customers via the cloud.
Third, and most closely related to eBuilder's Cloud Processes®, is Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS refers to applications that run on a cloud infrastructure and are provided over the Internet to consumers in an accessible way "from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser." The take home lesson here is that SaaS services are not installed on an organization's own computers, but rather in the cloud; and they can easily be accessed via a browser by individual employees who, for example, can have the usage charges debited to their credit cards for later reimbursement. The charges are "pay as you go." The IT department need not be involved and normally does not manage these applications as it does in-house applications. The IT department might not even know they are being used. But these applications can be business-critical, for example, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, such as Salesforce.
These descriptions are cursory, but they highlight the advances in accessibility and flexibility that cloud-computing technology delivers at different levels to customers.

GLM: You mentioned "Cloud Processes"; what does this term mean?
Cloud Processes are most important in a business perspective, so that's where I'll start the explanation.
The term "process" refers to "a systematic series of actions directed to some end" (Random House Dictionary) or "a series of actions that produce a change or development" (Collins English Dictionary). And a "business process " is a series of activities structured to achieve a specific management, operational, or related business objective. For example, procurement, stock management, and reverse logistics are all business processes. It is important to note that business processes are richer in content than IT systems, that is, business processes include considerable amounts of business-relevant information, business rules and logic, reports, etc. And even more significant, today many critical business processes span multiple businesses to create a value network. The content is spread among, and needs to be shared among, the collaborating partners in the value network.
eBuilder uses the term "Cloud Processes" for its software to avoid confusion with the term "cloud computing." Many people, when talking about what we call Cloud Processes, call them "cloud services." For most people, cloud computing is IT operations that are run as a service over the Internet, as opposed to being run by a company's own IT department. But as we have seen above, the reality of cloud computing is more varied and complex than that. I should add that this combination of IT and business expertise is one of the most important next steps forward in the "cloud" arena. I like to say that eBuilder's combination of cloud computing with business processes is like: 1+1=3.

GLM: What does a Cloud Process do?
eBuilder Cloud Processes combine the technological advances and advantages of cloud computing with the power of their own integrations, automation, optimization, and control of business processes that are executed in a value network, that is, among multiple, collaborating businesses. This type collaborative business processes is often called "multienterprise business processes", if you have come across that term.

GLM: What marketplace needs do Cloud Processes fulfill?
While benefitting from the technological excellence of cloud computing, eBuilder Cloud Processes focus on the business activities related to the following specific process domains: travel and expense management, procurement, order fulfillment, after sales, and financial transactions. Today the business activities that make up various business processes are becoming increasingly complex as organizations' operations are driven more and more within value networks of collaborating partners. The more complex the value network, the more complex the processes. Thus the importance of a company like eBuilder that provides Cloud Processes that integrate your collaborating partners and that automate, optimize, and control the business processes throughout your value networks. eBuilder Cloud Processes will save you money by substantially reducing costs. They provide sophisticated functionality embodying years of business-process and IT experience, but they require no investment in IT staff, software, or hardware. Rather you use it and gain its benefits while charging the cost to operating expenses.

GLM: Earlier you mentioned that Cloud Processes' combination of IT and business expertise is one of the most important next steps forward in the "cloud" arena. Doesn't SaaS offer some of these same advantages?
SaaS applications were a significant step forward in IT that had positive implications for business. But it is the introduction of Cloud Processes that shifts the focus from the application-centric to the business-process centric. While they use state-of-the-art technology, they are primarily business oriented; they solve business problems. They are only secondarily technology solutions. In this sense they bridge the "business-IT gap" where it is difficult to reconcile the different dynamics of business strategy, the organization, and the underlying infrastructure. Cloud Processes embody specific business-process expertise (logic/rules, etc.). Because they integrate specific value networks of collaborating businesses, they enable cross-organizational business processes, that is, they are multienterprise. Critical in this context, they are open to change, and give you the agility to quickly make changes in a highly interconnected and rapidly changing business environment. They focus on optimizing the operations of entire end-to-end business processes. And the more efficiently your business processes are executed, the more value you derive from them.
As I hope you can see, Cloud Processes are a major step past technology fixations into the realm of achieving business excellence.

GLM: What are the differences between SaaS and Cloud Processes from an implementation and usage standpoint?
I'll start with the similarities. Both SaaS applications and Cloud Processes are easily accessible anywhere via an internet connection; neither is installed on your own server, both provide flexible and swift scalability, both feature "pay-as-you-go" pricing models, both include regular maintenance/updates, and both reap the benefits of professional hosting and security.
Now, the differences. Cross SaaS application integration is in its infancy. There are significant limits to what can be connected to what. To integrate, you will need an integration platform, and/or you may be required to begin a complex and expensive integration project (data integration, application integration, B2B data exchange, etc.) to get your SaaS applications communicating with each other. Basically, what you get with SaaS applications is specific functionality delivered over the Internet, individual pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of your organization's business process needs. More SaaS applications mean more pieces, more functionality, effectively delivered; but the issue of integrating them remains.

GLM: OK, so what parts of this "jigsaw puzzle" do Cloud Processes deliver?
If we continue with the jigsaw puzzle analogy, eBuilder Cloud Processes provide entire jigsaw puzzles that are particularly suited to be scaled in a value network. They provide software that enables end-to-end integration, automation, optimization, and control of multiple business processes. Each Cloud Process integrates all the collaborating business partners in its business process's domain. The integrations are built on eBuilder's robust integration platform, and they are expedited by the large Business Process Networks already built into the platform and by the integration expertise of eBuilder personnel. Now we have all the collaborating business partners communicating with each other.
GLM: How do Cloud Processes achieve this automation, optimization, and control? What is going on behind the curtain?
eBuilder Cloud Processes provide Business Process Management and Business Process Rules to handle the actual functioning of the business process. Because Cloud Processes contain the relevant logic and rules, they are able to automate, control, and optimize much of the business process. In addition, Cloud Processes provide Master Data Management so that relevant background information is collected, aggregated, quality assured, and managed throughout the value network. Cloud Processes provide end-to-end visibility of the business process through tools that analyze and present the relevant operational status for those responsible at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels. So there is a world of difference between SaaS applications and Cloud Processes.

GLM: How do the various Cloud Processes relate to each other in a typical business environment?
The Cloud Processes relate to each other in a logical way: imagine that you make a trip to negotiate the terms of a purchase (eBuilder Travel and Expense Management), you later buy goods and services and want to ensure that they are purchased and delivered according to valid agreements/contracts (eBuilder Procurement); your product is delivered to customers under full control and visibility to all the participating business partners in your value network (eBuilder Order Fulfillment); you provide first-class service for your products and therefore have an excellent after sales/reverse logistics process (eBuilder After Sales).

GLM: Fine, thanks for guiding us through some of the salient points of cloud computing and beyond.
Your welcome. I hope you have enjoyed our journey and that you have found it valuable. Visit our website, for more information about Cloud Processes and the various industries they serve.

Nigel Lewis
CEO - Global Logistics Media

Cloud Computing Billing Realities

Cloud computing Billing Realities : IaaS Industry and Real time billing for IaaS providers

Author: balubojja4u

With advent of development in virtualization and other supporting technologies, many data centers are coming up with cloud servers. They are providing physical resources like RAM, storage, CPU cycles as service bundles and are able to provision these resources on a real time basis making the users to pay exactly for what they use.

This has been widely accepted by many companies as it comes with 2 major benefits.

Reduction in Capital Expenditure:
Reduction of capital expenditure is a major benefit for the IaaS users. This helps them to distribute the cost evenly over a span of few months or a year. This has optimized the way in which a company spends on its infrastructure needs as the IaaS user pays either less than a conventional data center option or get more out of the same expenditure.

Meeting fluctuating demand for resources:
This is the second and perhaps one of the most important reason that made cloud computing so popular among not just startups but also huge IT giants. Companies needed server resources in an adhoc manner where planning cannot help meeting demand. Traditional data centers could not do that as they sold servers as units(You can buy a fixed number physical servers). Hence scaling up the server capacity meant physically adding servers. But virtualization servers have overcome that limitation. They could ramp up the server capacity as and when there was a requirement. And the user has to pay for resources for the amount of time he has used the resource.

But IaaS providers find it very difficult to operate with traditional support systems in place which also includes a billing solution and it is affecting their bottom line severely. To discuss more about that, let us consider a simple use case of an IaaS provider.

An example:
Let us assume that an IaaS provider provides a set of services, like CPU, RAM, Bandwidth etc., in the following way which costs $40/Month
512MB-Burstable RAM(µ80/128MB/Hour)

This is typical case where the IaaS provider is providing the service at an initial cost of $40/Month and will be changing extra depending on the usage. This usage charges keeps reducing as the users choose for higher plans. Now that we have seen the offering let us discuss about the operational activities that support this kind of flexible offering.

Operational woos:
An IaaS provider’s server management is taken care by the virtualization tools, which also takes care of creating various VMs(Virtual Machines), managing resources, maintaining the log of activities, etc,. But these virtualization platforms do not take care of the billing related activities. This can be a gap in the operation when it comes to billing the customers for their services based on usage.

Let us just discuss a little about billing before moving on to usage based billing. Advent of cloud has raised the bar for expectations from a billing system. Cloud providers need billing system that is agile at the same time it has to have a set of comprehensive set of features in it. A typical cloud billing system will have the ability to generate bills based on flexible price plans, ability to integrate with wide range of 3rd party systems, real time billing(we will discuss more later), transparent and accurate information management, etc. The above mentioned features are necessary for cloud providers to offer flexible services billed accurately.

IaaS providers are unique when it comes to the services they offer. All the other cloud providers like SaaS or PaaS provide services on a ‘pay as you go’ model but IaaS provide physical resources. While the virtualization platform takes care of provisioning, the usage data should be automatically pulled and applied to the predefined price plans. Without such systems, the billing process will involve manual process which brings down both efficiency and accuracy. Apart from this, automation of updating the usage data of a particular user will not be possible.

Requirements of a billing system:
Ability to integrate with virtualization platforms for real time provisioning and billing.
Ability to define and manage flexible price plans.
Payment gateway integration for automated billing.
Real time billing for real time provisioning.
Effective information management.
Ability to integrate with 3rd party systems in eco system.
Automatic usage based billing.
Some of the common benefits from having a cloud centric billing system are
Automated work flows for accuracy and efficiency.
Customer can use the service in no time.
Information flow between different departments can be done with glitches.
Accurate billing will be possible.
Customers can see their usage.
Accounting process simplification.
Supports high scalability.

A brief on eVapt:
eVapt Inc provides billing solution to IaaS, SaaS, PaaS and On-demand providers. Our product’s core ability is managing flexible/complex price plans and automating the billing. Over the years our solution has evolved into a comprehensive end to end customer management system while specializing in our core competencies. Today many enterprise grade cloud solution providers trust eVapt’s billing solution.

Challenges of Usage Metering in Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Service Provider - Make the Right Choice

Cloud Computing Service Provider - Make the Right Choice

Author: liza252

Cloud computing is a collection of distributed services, applications, information and infrastructure and involves providing hosted services over the internet. These services can be rapidly organized, provisioned, implemented and decommissioned using an on-demand utility. Cloud has come as a boon for small and medium businesses who cannot afford large investment on infrastructure and applications. Today Cloud is fast becoming important for IT needs--a development that spells change for IT managers looking to leverage the cloud and rethink their data center strategies.

A cloud service has a distinct advantage over traditional hosting.

* It is sold on demand – Pay as you use model, a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time
* The service is fully managed by the service provider.
* Provides significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet.

India is fast emerging as the cloud computing services provider and there is a $1 billion worth of opportunity waiting to be tapped. Users of cloud computing service does not have to purchase hardware or software for his IT related need but is provided by the cloud computing service provider and is charged a factional amount of the cost for the using hardware or the software.

Regardless of the size all companies are looking to leverage the benefits doled out by using cloud based services. Managed service providers are in great demand by SMB’s and can they can customize the services based on the need of the client. There are many benefits that cloud computing offers; fast deployment, scalability, business agility, lower costs, these are some of the main advantages enabled by the cloud.

When a company decides on the type of the cloud it should opt for on-demand public cloud services ( Cloud Services on Public Internet),Hybrid Cloud (Public Cloud Services extended to an enterprise’s dedicated IT infrastructure over secure VPN) or Private Cloud (Dedicated Cloud Services for an enterprise)and the three service models of cloud service; Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) , Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that can best suit its infrastructure and business needs, the next big decision is narrowing the choice down to one cloud vendor who can provide the service that brings the best results both in terms of cost and performance.

What are the Advantages of choosing a cloud computing service provider?

If you are selecting the right service provider, you can obtain numerous benefits. Some of these benefits are:

* Cost – The major benefit of moving to the service provider is the cost factor. If you are opting for shared hosting the cost is greatly reduced as you are sharing the resources with many clients. MSP’s are challenged to show the customer’s, savings specific to their environment, by detailing the cot breakup. So if you are on a tight budget moving to the cloud can be a good option.

* Security – Data security is of utmost importance to any organization. Ensure that the service provider provides for the best security firewalls for your data. Check whether all precautionary measures are in place and followed by cloud hosting providers to keep their servers safe from any kind of security breach.

* Utilization of Resources – As you are paying for the resources ensure optimum utilization of these and see that the server time is not wasted. As the server occupation will be high, the memory as well as other resources will be put to a maximum usage.

* Support - Support is a critical to the success of any venture in today's networked environment. Evaluate the type of technical support and services offered by various cloud hosting service providers. Make sure that the service you are opting for can give you 24/7 dedicated technical and emergency support when you need it.

Although there are hundreds of cloud computing providers in the arena, but when it comes to evaluating a cloud vendor it is critical to have thorough understanding of their offerings and total costs of solutions. Do a thorough background research on the cloud computing service provider and make sure they have a good standing in the market.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How To Turn Your IT Green With Cloud Computing ?

How To Turn Your IT Green With Cloud Computing: Facts Every CEO/CFO Should Know

"Going Green" in your company means making a reduction in the overall environmental impact of your business. Typically there are a number of areas that you will be looking at: energy inefficiency and consumption, materials (stopping waste and using sustainable/renewable materials), and finally making sure you use "Green" products, equipment and services. Some of the things you do will save you money; other things may cost you more.

Luckily there is one aspect of your business that you can change that will have the benefit of being "Green" and will also save you money: moving your IT to The Cloud. IT is frequently not focused on when thinking "Green" because companies may not appreciate the very large impact that their data processing is having on their carbon footprint - and their bottom line.

Did you know, for example:
  • A medium-sized server has the same carbon footprint as an SUV achieving 15 miles to the gallon (Gartner Analyst Sept 2006)
  • 100 PCs left on without power save settings will consume up to $11,000 of electricity per year (Global Action Plan 2007) and for every unit of electricity consumed around another half a unit is required to dissipate the heat generated.
  • Servers typically require as much energy to cool them as they directly consume.
  • A typical PC has a carbon footprint of around 620 lbs of CO2/yr, which is the same as driving 611 miles ( HP Website).

So what is Cloud Computing? How can The Cloud help you make your company greener and at the same time save you money?

Cloud Computing is computing which is delivered over the internet rather like a utility service that delivers water or electricity. It can be accessed by pretty much any device that has an internet connection. The computing horsepower is located and occurs outside the business on external servers, so no computing hardware needs to be owned and operated by the business.

Moving your IT to the cloud is less difficult that most CEOs/CFOs imagine. It involves a relatively straightforward migration of vital enterprise applications, desktop systems and any custom server environments onto new servers set up and run from a secure datacenter. Employees will access all their computing over a safe encrypted Internet connection.Ideally a company will replace PCs with virtual Microsoft Windows desktop environments, complete with Microsoft Office� software. Each user will be able to access their own desktop using a PC, tablet, laptop, Thin Client, or virtually any Smart Device with a network connection. People will enjoy a truly mobile work environment and can access their desktop directly at any time and from anywhere!

Once the transition is made, all your servers are gone, you don't need a server room. Because you no longer need to power and cool these servers, big savings are made and you have lowered your carbon footprint. And as the new servers created for the business at the secure data center are virtualized, this allows for great energy and computing efficiencies which in turn translates to savings that are passed on to you, the company.
Once you have moved your IT to The Cloud, the next greenest thing to do is to replace all PCs with Thin Clients. A Thin Client is small, has no moving parts, no hard drives, or noisy fans. Compared to the typical office PC is uses 1/10th of the energy or less and has three times the life expectancy. It is simply a local terminal for plugging in the keyboard, mouse, monitor and network connection. Users have a normal desktop experience when connecting with their Thin Client with none of the reliability headaches. By using Thin Clients, a company with 100 PCs can save energy costs of up to $5,000 a year directly without counting the HVAC savings made from not having to deal with the heat emissions from the PCs.

Now your company's IT infrastructure is in The Cloud, it is easier for your employees to work in a flexible way. Anyone with an internet connection and the correct secure link will be able to access their desktop exactly as if they were in their office. CEOs could take the decision to allow workers more flexible work schedules, for example allowing them to work from home, telecommuting. They could allow employees to stagger travel time to miss inefficient and tiring peak time commutes, knowing that the employees can start work efficiently at home on their desktops. These options are Green options and help reduce the company's CO2 footprint.

The move to Cloud Computing is underway. The Green and cost saving benefits of moving your IT infrastructure to The Cloud are too substantial to ignore. By the end of 2012, Gartner project that "20% of all companies will own no IT assets". CEOs and CFOs would be wise to look at the option for their companies.

Nick Graham is VP at Consilien LLC, a company that has been delivering Information Technology Services since 2001, in the LA, Riverside and Orange County area. Nick invites you to take a closer look at how easy it is to divest your company's IT infrastructure and move it to a private managed cloud.

Article Source:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Good Reasons To Move To The Cloud Computing

Cloud computing – what do the numbers reveal?

Author: Bob Jones

While there is no doubt that cloud computing is a buzzword that is seen and heard all over the web today, recent statistics and predictions have shown just how huge the cloud really is. If you have been considering moving your IT operations onto the cloud, then you may be wondering whether this flexible, affordable and reliable approach is simply another trend, of it is really is the new generation of IT for companies of all sizes.
Some of the recent findings for 2010 in regards to cloud computing indicate the predicted growth of the industry, as well as the success and awareness rate in terms of companies who are gradually moving to the cloud. Key findings include the following:
  • CRN forecasts that by the year 2014, small to medium enterprise budgets for cloud computing will reach as high as $100 billion.
  • IDC estimates that the public cloud products and services market was an estimated $16B in 2010, and predicts that this will increase to $56B by 2014.
  • Gartner predicts that the cloud market will reach $150B by 2013, and Merrill Lynch predicts this figure to be $160B by 2012.
  • SandHill recently surveyed 500 IT decision makers who were asked to name their primary reason for moving to the cloud - 50of the respondents said that business agility was the main reason for cloud applications.
  • Gartner predicted that the rapid growth of cloud computing will result in 60of server workloads moving to the cloud within the next few years.
  • IDC estimates that the current 25growth rate of public cloud infrastructure, applications and platforms will increase two-fold by 2013.
  • Enterprise studies recently show that while almost every enterprise was using a cloud application, less than 25of IT departments were aware that they were using cloud computing products.
What do these figures mean for your company however; and how can the cloud ensure that your business needs are met?

Simply put, cloud computing provides a new generation of IT services, allowing you to manage your needs through web based solutions. Cloud hosting, customised cloud solutions catered to your business model, easy resources sharing, easier collaboration, increased security and many other benefits can be enjoyed on the cloud, and as a cost-effective solution, these systems can easily be integrated into your network as well as your IT budget. As the statistics above showed, many IT departments and managers are unaware they are already using cloud systems, and with so many applications already on the cloud, programmes such as Google Documents, Acrobat, LiveChat, LivePerson and many other applications already on the market, the cloud has become a huge part of how we share information.

If you are still deciding whether to make the move from traditional solutions to cloud computing, realising the huge potential for fast, effective and flexible solutions is the first step to moving over to the cloud.
Article Source:

About the Author
Bob Jones offers advice for businesses in Cape Town seeking <a href=''>Cloud computing</a> and quality <a href=''>Cape Town IT services</a>.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Enterprise Cloud Computing

Thoughts on Enterprise Cloud Computing

Since I have been mostly writing about the benefits of cloud computing, I would now like to bring up for discussion the market and providers of these services, especially from the point of view of enterprises.

Most enterprises are still trying to understand what cloud computing is and how it could fit their IT processes.  The same advantages that I have previously pointed out, still apply in their case, especially the ones related to scalability, when the resources that they need vary, and thus, they have the ability to buy temporary storage, for example.  Also, it would allow them to make the conversion from capital expenses to operational expenses.

Recently, I noticed that cloud providers (IaaS, SaaS or PaaS) have been drawing more attention and interest from larger companies, who are trying to enter the cloud computing market. For example, NaviSite was acquired by Time Warner; Terramark was bought by Verizon, and recently, Savvis receiving a 2.5 billion bid from CenturyLink.

Some enterprises might be conformable with using the services offered by Google or Amazon, but they might need specialized services as well, or might want to maintain the ownership of their information.  In these conditions, who will be the dominant enterprise cloud providers?

First of all, there are the obvious big players such as Amazon, Rackspace, IBM, AT&T, CISCO, or HP. Furthermore, here is a list of cloud computing providers and consulting companies, most of which are PaaS or IaaS:

A virtual machine simulates a computer environment, which can be cloned with just one click, on a single hardware platform. It is something similar to what I did here, where I have personally worked with NaviSite and CISCO.  A list of virtualizations platforms can be found here:

In terms of costs, service providers are paid by utility. Some of the elements included in the cost are: memory, CPU, bandwidth, data transfer, etc.To make the whole process transparent and to let companies what costs to expect,Amazon provides a calculator for costs:
In terms of the software that will be mostly used by the cloud providers, I believe that the market will be dominated by a few large players, not unlike what we see with the three large OS's today, Microsoft, Apple and Linux.

All in all, I believe that the market of enterprise cloud providers will be much diversified. Companies will tend to specialize on providing specific services for cloud computing. No one can truly estimate at the moment how things will evolve and what the main providers will be.

Article Source:

About the Author
Cloud Computing Expert, Entrepreneur and Strategy Consultant

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cloud Computing Basics

The Basics of Cloud Computing Services

You've probably heard all sorts of buzz about cloud computing services without any real clear definition being supplied. So here it is - the unofficial A to Z of the cloud.

"The cloud" is an offsite network. From the point of view of the cloud user, everything that he or she is using to compute, except the actual workstation, is hosted elsewhere, on a net based server. This gives the end user access to all the programs, tools and technology without having to pay for each upgrade or purchase endless lists of licences.

Cloud computing services charge a usage fee, which is often paralleled with the national power grid. You pay for the electricity you use without having to worry about installing your own generator: when you cloud compute, you pay for the computing power you use without having to host it yourself.

The instant advantages of the cloud are twofold. You can use better technology for a reduced cost; and you don't have to devote office space to server rooms and data storage facilities.

Because you are paying for the use of the cloud, you don't have to budget for IT upgrades anymore. Cloud computing services upgrade themselves - you just keep on using the end products.

Your computers become workstations, usage ports connected to the cloud no matter where you take them. That means no more issues with data storage - all your data can be stored in the cloud - and no more hardware problems. When you cloud compute your PCS and laptops are interface devices that get you in to a much more powerful and secure server than the ones you have traditionally used in your office environment.

Like any new technology, there's a transitional period associated with the cloud. Current wisdom suggests that you should move your business into cloud computing services one part at a time. Start with backup and support, then move your email and applications. Your final step is to shift your data from in house environments to the cloud.

Paying for only the computing power you need, when you need it; and getting access to the latest versions of all the tools you need to conduct your business; are powerful reasons for moving up into the cloud. Every transition will of course be dictated by the nature of your business and the concerns specific to it. You can have a cloud computing services provider conduct a full consultation with you to determine how best to utilise the cloud for your business: take advice first and start moving in once you have a clear idea of how the move is going to progress.

Finally: how does the cloud work? Very simply. It works like the Internet - you log onto a net based application, which gives you access to all of the software, hosting services and backup you need.

Article Source:

About Author:
Ziptech Servicesis a cloud computing resource provider and consultant. The company website is designed to deliver all the information necessary to make an informed and useful set of choices about where to go to get cloud computing and how to troubleshoot it too. Cloud Computing Services