Cloud Computing – An Intro

July 23, 2008 at 8:12 pm 1 comment

Enterprise customers that are building in-house applications are often faced with a lengthy process of procuring and provisioning infrastructure before their applications can be deployed, tested and made production ready. Even if infrastructure is available, it has to be prepped and assigned to the relevant department before any meaningful work can be done. Similarly, ISVs who are pursuing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategy to take advantage of the long tail, economies of scale, and reduced development and testing cycles are faced with a whole set of new challenges around managing and maintaining the associated infrastructure and SLAs. What this means is that enterprise companies and ISVs are spending a lot of time, money and energy on tasks which are not really their core competency – procuring, configuring and managing infrastructure. Imagine a world where they could focus on just building their product or application and tap in to a massive pool of infrastructure as and when needed, configured to their environment within seconds and readily available on-demand. That is the promise of cloud computing.

Cloud computing is a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related infrastructure and capabilities are provided to multiple external customers “as a service” using Internet technologies.  It is the latest buzzword in the IT industry and enterprise customers and ISVs are only now starting to dig deeper to understand and utilize this powerful concept for their business benefit.

However,  just as with any new buzzword, customers who wish to build, deploy and consume products and applications in the cloud are faced with a myriad of challenges. Right now, there is a lot of confusion around cloud computing with different terms like grid computing, SaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS) being thrown around by the industry. Aside from this confusion, there are many business, technical, operational and marketing related decisions that an ISV or enterprise customer needs to make when developing or consuming a product in the cloud. I will be writing a series of articles on cloud computing based on the work that I do at Patni (develop a comprehensive set of service offerings around cloud computing that provide both the ISV and enterprise community guidance to help build and consume products using cloud computing technology).

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Entry filed under: cloud computing. Tags: , , .

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