Cloud Computing Enterprises

What Is Cloud Computing?
Many of us are already using cloud services and don’t even realize it. The hundreds of thousands
of users of Salesforce.com’s CRM platform already know the benefits of a Software-as-a-Service
approach, and many others are using outsourced applications like Google Apps. Cloud can
deliver immediate technical and profitable business value. It makes sense to look past the hype
and examine the real issues, challenges and potential problems that need to be addressed
before it can truly be a ubiquitous and beneficial computing tool.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as “a model
for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable resources
(e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned
and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
NIST also defines three service models for cloud computing:
• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
The capability provided to the cloud consumer is to use the provider’s applications running
on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through
a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does
not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers,
operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible
exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.
• Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
The capability provided to the cloud consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure
consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and
tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying
cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has
control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment
configurations.
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
The capability provided to the cloud consumer is to provision 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. The consumer
does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over
operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select
networking components (e.g., host firewalls)

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Currently, typical applications of cloud computing include:
• Test and development
• Functional offload such as batch processing and/or storage
• Cloud bursting or overdraft protection to handle peak workloads
• Web application development and hosting
Whether implementing internally or contracting externally, cloud computing offers the promise of
lowering infrastructure spending by allowing resources to be shared and used more efficiently;
permitting businesses to pay for only the amount of service they consume. This sharing of
compute resources across all business units and optimizing utilization of resources in the data
center is appealing to CTOs and CIOs.
The early cloud adopters are pursuing these benefits:
• Cost economics (OPEX vs. CAPEX and reduced TCO, personnel, and support/maintenance
costs)
• Flexibility and Agility
• Scalability
• Speed to market
While the rewards of cloud computing appear to be crystal clear, there are risks that your
business needs to consider closely:
• Security
• Lack of control
• Performance and availability
• Legal/regulatory
• Runaway capacity usage

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