I became “curiouser and curiouser” about cloud computing as we all have been bombarded with this term. When I skimmed the definition it did not sound like any thing new. We have been using Hotmail for more than a decade; My elearning portal was “in the cloud” for more than 6 years. So, I was not clear what the hype is about.
Then I saw this Youtube interview by Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle.
I was relieved. Though the title says “Larry hates / bashes cloud computing”, Larry is criticizing only the hype around the term “cloud computing”. He acknowledges it has been the way we did business in the past, present and continue to do in the future.
Due to increase in computing power and increase in broadband speed does the change the way we do business. We may think that the changes (in doing business) can happen incrementally. The cloud proponents think that the change is a “paradigm shift”. (my friend says a management strategy meeting cannot run without using the term “paradigm shift”). Both camps agree that there is a need for change.
The first thing comes to one’s mind when we discuss about cloud computing is “security”. The last thing that comes to their mind is the changes they have to make in their organization to adapt to the cloud service delivery model.
In this series, I will start with an overview of cloud computing. Then I will be analyzing how the Service Management lifecycle will be impacted because of cloud computing.
Broad definitions of cloud:
A style of Computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies”
Cloud computing is 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.
My definition of cloud:
A service delivery/sourcing model where services are delivered through internet, offers a usage based pricing and supported by a bi-directional scalable infrastructure.
Characteristics of cloud computing:
- On-demand self-service. A consumer can provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.
- Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
- Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
- Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in.
- Measured Service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts).
(source: NIST definition v15)
Layers of cloud computing:
Software As A Service (SAAS):
User can subscribe to an application, or group of applications that form a service: Example: SaleForce.com
Platform As A Service (PAAS)
Users can subscribe to a development platform.
Example: Windows Azure, Google App Engine
Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS)
Users can subscribe to computing infrastructure.
Advantages of cloud computing:
- It takes fraction of the time to subscribe to a service or set-up a development environment
Potential Cost saving
- No Capital costs and operational costs can be saved depending upon the individual business conditions
- Can cater for the extra volume due to growth or seasonal variations
IT Service continuity
- Backup and disaster recovery can be the responsibility of the provider
- Supports remote workers by providing a standard environment
Can reduce green house emissions due to resource pooling
In the next blog, we will discuss about Service Strategy highlighting two important aspects:
– The changing role of IT from “Shared services” to “Self services”
– Service Costing
In the context of Strategy, I will introduce the terms “Private”, “Public” and “Hybrid” cloud structures. There are interesting ways of slicing and dicing the hybrid.