“Cloud Computing” or “Utility Computing” are among the biggest buzzwords in the technology industry right now. But what do they mean?
FORETHOUGHT.net has developed its vision of Cloud Computing.
Like your electricity which comes from numerous power generators connected to the “Grid” (i.e., the power distribution network), cloud computing uses the Internet to connect you to computing nodes. These computing nodes could be anywhere in the world - or, even more likely - distributed around the world.
One of the Cloud’s enabling technologies is virtualization. Server virtualization technologies such as VMware and XenServer enable virtual computer environments to be independent of hardware. In fact, a virtual server can be migrated - live, and without disruption - between different physical servers. Your server’s “brain” could move from Los Angeles to New York in seconds, with no perceivable down time to you.
This key technology allows vastly improved reliability, uptime, and data security than previous computing models.
Virtualization also allows you to instantly add RAM or Disk storage to your server, often without even having to reboot your virtual server.
Gone are the days of downtime due to a hard drive failure, or a roof leak shutting down your data closet, or painful, expensive upgrades between operating system versions. Dedicate a virtual server to each of your.
The second key component of Cloud Computing is a shift in the software industry, away from expensive one-time license fees, and to small fixed monthly fees for software rental. Indeed, virtually all Microsoft software is now available to rent: the full Microsoft Office suite is available for $15.00 per month per user, or less, and this gives one access to the latest, greatest versions all the time. Why pay thousands of dollars per user every 3 years when you can simply rent it?
With the advent of Cloud Computing, there is no more reason for you to host your own servers in your office than there is for you to host your own web site, or your own phone system. These are all simply applications which can be delivered to you over the Internet.
And finally, with desktop virtualization technology, computing for individual users can be hosted in a professional data center instead of on a desk. By hosting desktops, we solve many traditional IT challenges such as user data backups, user security, remote access, downtime, and the expense of rolling out new computers to your whole organization every 3 years.
For one view into our vision, imagine the following capabilities and benefits of our Cloud services to your organization:
* Affordable, Fortune-500, Enterprise-Grade IT Services for any size organization
* Scale cost effectively and with Fortune-500 Reliability
* Never outgrow your IT infrastructure again. Most services can be scaled, instantly, online with no disruption.
* New services and servers can be deployed in seconds
* No more waiting for new hardware to ship. No more expense, hassle, disruption of your office for upgrades. Moving to a new office is a snap.
* No more lost productivity due to server failure: all hosted services are fault tolerant. In the event of server failure, service is switched to backups in seconds with little or no disruption.
* If the Internet goes down, you can be running again in seconds using a backup 4G, DSL, or Cable connection.
* A’la Carte - use only the services you need.
* Stop buying and throwing away computers every few years. Turn old computers into high-performance thin clients, forever.
* Expert Management available for all services
We can put almost every IT component into the cloud: mail servers, file servers, desktops, web/ftp/application servers, firewall and VPN. All backed up, with instant failover and fault tolerance, and with inexpensive software rental that lets you immediately scale your IT costs along with your headcount.
Our plan is to bundle our Cloud platform with our Metro Ethernet services, providing unique capabilities compared to pure “over the top” Cloud services.
As IT professionals, what are some of the challenges you see in deploying Cloud Computing to your users?