Friday, April 13, 2012

WOLF Weekly Cloud Sum-up, Apr 13, 2012

In November of 2011, Andrew McAfee published an article in the Harvard Business Review: What Every CEO Needs to Know about the Cloud. McAfee is Principal Research Scientist and Associate Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. He writes that cloud computing is “. . . a sea change – a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. It’s as inevitable and irreversible as the shift from steam to electric power in manufacturing, which was gaining momentum in America about a century ago.” But, after discussing a number of its benefits to business–individual productivity, group collaboration, information insights and application development–McAfee points out that the shift to cloud computing has been slow. He cites a 2011 survey by InformationWeek that found that less that 30% of respondents had analyzed the impact of cloud to their business, as well as a prediction by the research firm Gartner that while cloud computing will continue to grow at almost 20 percent a year, it will account for less than 5 percent of totally IT spending in 2015.

Check out the Complex Transition to the Cloud

What makes a cloud a cloud? 5 defining characterstics

Let's step through these of these concepts individually. First, "broad network access." Access to resources in the cloud is available over multiple device types. This not only includes the most common devices (laptops, workstations, etc.) but also this includes mobile phones, thin clients and so on. Contrast "broad network access" with access to compute and network resources during the mainframe era. Compute resources forty years ago were scarce and costly. Usage was limited based on priority and criticality of workloads in order to conserve those resources. Similarly, network resources were also scarce. Internet Protocol (IP) based networks were not in prevalent usage back then, consequently high-bandwidth, low-latency networks did not exist.

What's your cloud contingency plan?

Do you live in the cloud but keep one foot on the ground? If you tend to jump between computers and other devices during the day, you'll love the flexibility of cloud computing. If your documents and other important data is stored in the cloud, you can grab any device and pick up working where you left off. Cloud services are great if you don't want to stay chained to your desk, but they also double as a handy business continuity and disaster recovery tool. Should disaster strike your home or office, you can keep working elsewhere while you sort out your problems. Whether it's fire, flood, theft or coffee in the keyboard, your data is safe and sound. Many people don't think about backups and disaster recovery until it's too late, so cloud computing could save the day.

Navigating through SaaS and Cloud Computing Software

If you ask anyone about the hottest technology trends of the year, no doubt one of the answers will be SaaS and cloud computing. It’s everywhere – from basic eMail access to sharing pictures, to the security watchdog in your computer. Software as a service or otherwise known as SaaS eliminates running software from your own server. Your data is stored online and the software provider handles updates. Not only does it make sense – it’s cheaper, easier and smarter.

How the cloud democratizes and complicates disaster recovery

Cloud computing is slowly upending the disaster recovery market. Only a few years ago, disaster recovery meant one of two things: For large organizations, it necessitated huge capital investments; for the mid-market on down, it meant backing up only the most important data to tape and shuffling it off to a secure location. Actually, there's a third thing. For many organizations, even today, disaster recovery (DR) means doing the bare minimum, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

We hope these short sum-ups on Cloud Computing are helping you to take a knowledgeable approach towards moving to the cloud. Stay tuned for more sum-ups on in the forthcoming week.

Don’t forget to add your comments and suggestions. I will have more around the cloud a week later.

Santanu Das
Marketing Evangelist, WOLF Frameworks

NOTE: The views expressed above are purely personal and for informational purposes only. WOLF FRAMEWORKS INDIA PVT. LTD. MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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