Cloud computing is making its way into businesses everywhere. But if you still don't know your public cloud from your SaaS, don't worry. This essential cloud computing guide will help you sort it all out.
Cloud computing definition and explainers
In the marketing world, new phrases are constantly created to sell products and services. Sometimes, the word or phrases are clear and concise and other times, as is the case with cloud computing, the phrase may be concise, but it is far from clear. This post explains the relatively non-technical basics behind the concept of cloud computing and explains why services "in the cloud" can result in a healthier bottom line for business.
While it is challenging to evaluate cloud services because they are always being tweaked, enhanced, and augmented, now is the time to take a closer look at what Amazon offers.
Cloud computing strategies
Options include public clouds and external private clouds. Here's how to choose wisely.
Functions that make good candidates for cloud computing include modular data crunching, where companies outsource the computation of data that can be sent to a cloud provider for processing but can't be identified out of context, thus satisfying security concerns.
Before you dismiss the cloud as a lot of vapor, listen to what three small-business people told us about their experiences with it.
While many IT executives mull over the notion of buying infrastructure as a service under the new cloud computing model, Chad Swartz, Senior Manager of IT Operations at Preferred Hotel Group, is actually doing so. Last December, Swartz powered down the servers and storage at this Chicago-based premiere hotelier and started tapping into capacity he buys from cloud provider Terremark Worldwide.
All about private clouds
A private cloud arrangement can help your IT staff reinvent how they think about management. Consider these eight key requirements for a successful private cloud deployment, says CA's Stephen Elliot.
The future of corporate IT is in private clouds, flexible computing networks modeled after public providers such as Google and Amazon yet built and managed internally for each business's users, says Gartner.
Travel booking and expense firm Concur Technologies uses virtualization and an infrastructure-as-a-service model to slash costs and deployment times for internal business groups. Bonus benefit: Improved compliance tracking.
Generally speaking, cloud providers fall into three categories: software-as-a-service providers; infrastructure-as-a-service vendors that offer Web-based access to storage and computing power; and platform-as-a-service vendors that give developers the tools to build and host Web applications. Here are 10 cloud companies that are worth watching.
Two cloud computing certification programs recently announced by 3Tera Inc. may signify the beginning of a cloud computing certification trend.
Oracle calmed the fears of tens of millions of OpenOffice.org users when it declared it would keep supporting the free open-source productivity suite following its merger with Sun Microsystems Inc. It also cheered anti-Microsoft Office factions when it said it would deliver a Web version called Oracle Cloud Office. However, Oracle's brief announcements also raised a number of questions that neither the company nor OpenOffice.org wanted to answer. Here's what we know.
The risks in cloud computing can be quite different from on-premises computing. We have to secure our systems against at least three different angles of attack: those from the Internet; those from other "tenants"; and those from the cloud computing provider's staff. The last point specifically can be the most challenging. No matter how well the provider has trained and vetted their staff, there is always the risk of an insider attack.
When security experts sound the alarm about enterprises embracing cloud computing with little understanding of the risks, it's usually a case where the expert -- working for a vendor -- is making a pitch for their employer's products. That's all well and good, but here's the problem -- some of them have trouble keeping their own side of the cloud clean.
Cloud computing tips
Those of you who think you can separate architecture and cloud computing are gravely mistaken. For most of today's projects, the best way to drive toward cloud computing is to leverage SOA approaches.
Whether or not an application or a system is a fit for cloud computing really begins with understanding your own architecture issues and the design patterns of the application. See how your application stands up to this checklist to determine whether cloud computing is the right option.