The State of Cloud Computing
Today, cloud computing is the result of a widespread adoption of virtualization, service-oriented architecture, and utility computing. The location of the infrastructure or software applications is no longer relevant for some of the end-users, who don’t want to thoroughly control the technical infrastructure that supports their activities.
The cloud has many meanings. In 1997, cloud computing was defined as the new “computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.” (Professor Ramnath Chellapa). During 1990s, companies began to gain a better understanding of cloud computing and in 1999, Salesforce.com became one of the first major movers in the cloud arena, that started delivering enterprise-level applications to end users via the Internet. The hype around cloud computing has really taken off since 2010.
At present, cloud is maturing quickly. Discussions have moved their focus from educational purposes to factual benefits, issues, and concerns related to the Cloud environment. We have come a long way since the days of main frames, dumb terminals, client server computing, browser based applications. We are now in the virtualization era. Nowadays, IT departments are managing the hosted services for enterprise software applications. ERP, CRM, and database software are all accessible from the Cloud today.
The SaaS based offerings that are built on a IaaS platform and managed by Enterprise hosting facilities are much different. These solutions are running on hardware and software that is designed for virtualization environments which allow the virtuals to communicate across multiple blades and chassis at higher speeds and greater efficiency. The management of these resources is to me a large part of what cloud computing is all about. The ability to scale up resources, add Ram, Disk and CPU’s through a centralized management interface. Manage the type of storage dynamically from mechanical disks to SSD’s, move applications and data from shared multitenant environments to dedicated blade, chassis, SAN environments to meet critical compliance needs through this single management interface. This is Cloud Computing and what was not possible in the 1990’s.
Cloud computing offers an efficient alternative and early adopters showed that they have gained quick, tangible and measurable business benefits by moving some or all of their applications to the cloud.