If you are in the IT field, Cloud Computing is something you will be hearing constantly. The term became very active 2 yrs back, when google announced the big news, followed by the concept of virtualization, really stirred the whole topic.
So what is cloud computing?
In simple terms, it’s a service area, where your application (software), hardware, software, all IT is hosted on the internet and the user simply pays a subscription charge to use it.
They are divided into 3 mainly
SaaS – Software As A Service – Here any software or application used by the company is hosted by a hosting company in their server and the user pays a subscription charge to use those application. For example, if a company sells products, typically the company has an inventory database to manage the stock , pricing etc for this some companies use software’s, while some use MS Excel. And now when you have applications, you are bound to have issues with them. Now some companies have dedicated IT for this (depending on size of the firm) or others hire on contract basis.
Now think if this application is hosted as SaaS in a server, and all the maintenance and upgrades are done by the hosting company. As a client the company doesn’t have to worry about IT. That’s an advantage and cost saving.
PaaS – Platform As A Service – Here you are provided with a platform on a cloud concept. For example, to develop a web application, the designer needs to use an operating system, web server, database and programming language these are provided to client and then client builds its application on these platform. Now as a client the company has to choose between various platforms available out there. Many hosting companies provide both platform, or vendor neutral solutions as well.
IaaS – Infrastructure As A Service – Here the infrastructure is provided on a cloud model. Here you are given hardware for running your application. Such companies give you hardware support, not software. They take care of hardware upgrade, like hard disk, server patches, memory upgrades etc. The client who uses them can take care of application side of this.
Now if you think, are there solutions that combine altogether? Yes there are. They are called
CaaS – Computing As A Service – Some CaaS allows customers to pay for data-center resources such as storage and application hosting dynamically based on the amount of resources they consume. Using a Web portal, customers can daily adjust the amount of infrastructure they use, coupling it more tightly with their own usage and demand trends.
Cloud Computing and all its subsidiaries are in its early stages and yet to mature, but eventually I believe CaaS is the way to go. And the future of IT will be in this way. I also foresee that many Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) will have alot of advantage in moving their processes to Cloud. They can save time on IT professionals, Downtime and increase efficiency.
But this doesn’t mean that alot of IT professionals are going to loose job either. The job description of IT will be slightly changed that’s all. Most of the IT professionals will be working for these hosting companies or their subsidiaries, not necessarily for their client directly, but indirectly.
Please note that the comparison and examples I have used are in simple terms and simple logic, the use of cloud is used very simple to complex levels.