30 Jun The Challenge of Moving to The Cloud Services
What are the Cloud Services?
Using cloud services allows you to forget about physical IT hardware and its costs and for us to create a more robust solution with availability and resilience way beyond anything that can be accomplished on physical hardware.
These services allow business users to remove the excessive, and to a degree pointless, cost and trouble of IT operations and have Cloud Services provide the solutions their business requires and begin really utilizing the power of the internet a cloud computing. Over time though more and more business critical services have been provided via the web and that’s really what cloud computing is all about. It’s about removing the infrastructure and service provision from an internal to an external function and this makes perfect sense. Why duplicate costs and hardware. The investment in a highly resilient and secure network infrastructure has already been made – you just pay to make use of it.
Products and services delivered using this model are sometimes referred to as SaaS (software as a service) or on-demand solutions. Most of them share certain characteristics:
- The main program files and folders reside in a remote server, accessible 24/7 via some kind of networking protocols (the most commonly used kind being Internet protocols).
- You don’t need to install the program in your local machine (some may require you to install a thin client to communicate with the remote program, but most use a standard browser to handle the communication).
- You don’t purchase a license to use the program; instead, you buy a subscription to get access to the hosted software’s functions.
- Typically, they cost less than shrink-wrapped software or desktop licenses.[/list]
Cloud Services Cost Benefits
In a traditional IT environment you have the capital cost of IT equipment, the cost of supporting and maintaining it and the cost of replacing / upgrading everything when it goes obsolete. In a cloud service-based model you have no capital costs and the initial operational costs are zero since everything is provided as a service. Fixed monthly costs give you a stable based on which to plan for growth and avoid surprises. In the same way that you pay your electricity and gas bill, you will now have a computing bill.
Essentially cloud computing takes tasks that you would traditionally undertake on your desktop and transfers them webside to “the cloud” where you access them through your web browser. That’s all there is to it. Simple. Where the complexity comes in is the vast range of services you can access, many of cloud services are free of charge, from any computer, anywhere in the world.
The best known example is Google Docs – or Google Apps if you have gone for the paid for package aimed at companies. Simply by signing up for Docs you get word processing, spreadsheet and presentation plus an email account that has one of the best spam filters I have ever seen. Don’t make the mistake of thinking these are cut down, cheapo cheapo offerings, they are fully featured and powerful packages of cloud computing.
Reason for Cloud Computing popularity.
Operational Benefits of Cloud Services.
The operational benefits of cloud services are huge. Gone are the days when adding a server to your estate takes weeks. Within hours an entire cloud-based IT environment can be live and ready for use by you or your customers. Consider these advantages:
Moving to ‘the cloud’ makes sense, if you want to become a virtual business.
Chances are you are already using the cloud services for some things. Your mobile device most likely syncs to your computer for your email, contacts and calendar. For most of us, however, we do not have our documents, email folders and other essential business information in one central hub (‘the cloud’), that we can access from any devices, along with the programs that make them work. The cloud simply takes all data and all the programs to run your business and makes it accessible from any device, anywhere, anytime. This is a good overview video on cloud computing by Salesforce.com. Another cloud service solution called Infusionsoft for sales, marketing and customer management needs. Both of these CRM-type tools are essential for becoming more virtual and scalable as a business.
The enviable and ultra desirable 4 Hour Work Week business model is all about running your business from anywhere in the world so you can put in those 4 hours a week of work.
Collaboration, Online Sharing & Syncing
As you immerse into cloud computing you will find the word collaboration popping up all over the place. For me this is one of the great benefits of the new technologies. What is very cool is having seamless access to your data from Google Apps or Outlook. You can run multiple calendars, social events and email accounts that all sync to the Cloud Service Hub. I separate my emails by account based on function; business, personal and social networking, each with their own calendar and contacts. Another calendar sync tool you can use for collaboration is Teamviewer that now makes sharing calendars with your team, prospects and customers for scheduling appointments and Webinars very easy. Share ideas with sounds and images there, make your meetings and presentations live and interactive by selecting from a wide array of communication tools: video transmission, chat, teleconferencing, whiteboard, file sharing, and screenshots. You can turn your online meetings into a productive team experience from any location. Google + comes with fantastic tool call Hangout allow us to have collective meetings and synch them with google ‘s cloud calendar.
Collaboration software abounds in the cloud. These packages allow teams of people to link up with each other and essentially project manage each other. Documents are shared, tasks allocated, real time chat rooms pop up for virtual meetings, timelines established and progress monitored. Good examples of this sort of service include teamviewer.com.
File sharing packages where information is shared and can be accessed by any nominated individual are growing in popularity and the top two are Dropbox and Sugarsync. I used Dropbox for quite some time until I changed to a new Google Drive because of the increased flexibility of choosing which files and folders I wanted to sync. I use Google apps together with Google+ circles, one of may favorite B2B social platforms.
Like all cloud offerings these packages offer location independence so I can sync all my files from my home MAC, go to work, log into the service and be able to retrieve anything that I wanted. You can also allocate certain files to be shared with other individuals so if you are mixing a music track you can ask another musician across the world to download the file, add their drumming track and re-sync.
If you want to understand how ‘The Cloud’ can make your business more virtual by using cloud service, focus on implementing internet web based and mobile friendly tools. This is a case where slow and steady implementation may help you win you the race. As I type these final sentences into WordPress’s composition window, I’m on cloud (so to speak) using WP cloud service instead of Adobe’s Dreamweaver application from my desktop. Chances are, most of the blog posts about the danger and risk of cloud computing were also composed in the cloud in the same manner.
Reason for Cloud Computing popularity.
- Because, it has lot of features like Pooled resources, Elasticity, instance Startup, On-Demand Computing, self service model, location independence, Multi-tenancy, Reliability, Easy Maintenance and Pay per use Model.
- And one more main reason is, cloud computing is not a single technology, it’s a group of technology names as cloud computing. Or we can say, Cloud service providers bring lot of new features from other technology and introducing more and more new features along with cloud to beat competitors.[/list]
What are all Underling Technologies in Cloud Services?