Cloud is the next buzz word in the industry. If we were to quiz any CIO on what are some of the big bets they want to make in the next 6-12 months–using cloud will surely be one of them. Why has this new concept has caught on like forest fire? Why are organizations exploring and jumping into these trends? Is it just a hype or something all of us should invest our time on next?
Consuming services is something all of us have done for ages, so recent focus on cloud is in some ways hype, trust us. For example, when did you create your first email ID? For some of us, this might be close to 15+ years ago. The Hotmail saga was a typical example of using email as a service from cloud (called internet then). We also had some MSN added services, such as expanded storage, larger attachments and many more capabilities offered as add-on packs. Next we saw complete services like SalesForce, which brought a different perspective of line-of-businesses as a service (often called as SaaS). Finally, companies like Amazon and Microsoft offered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for organizations to get virtual machines (VMs) on demand.
Though the general idea isn’t new, the capabilities have certainly evolved, so let’s look at the top three reasons why enterprises are moving onto the cloud platform:
User control and agility
This is the primary reasons why application platform teams are embracing cloud first strategy. In today’s world, most of the application teams depend heavily on IT teams to get them machines for development, testing and integration workloads. Every time they reach out to IT teams, it takes a minimum of one to two days before the machines are made available. Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure lets application teams become agile, and reduces the provisioning of machines to just a few hours if not days. Hence, for development and testing environment requirements, teams are evaluating the cloud strategy proactively.
Scalability on demand
From development environment to real-time production environments, IT teams also look at cloud for a different reason. The best way to describe this is to get a sense of infinite scale with cloud. Today IT teams struggle to keep up with the demands of scale in their infrastructure when there is a sudden surge of demand in application load. Building capacity planning for short bursts of load increases the numbers of servers that need to be on standby for a short period of time. IT teams are looking at a flexible alternative wherein they don’t need to invest ahead of time for such surges in demand. This is a typical scenario that many of us call a Cloud Burst.
New trends like Big Data
New technology trends like Big Data, High-performance Computing, Complex Event Processing, Mobile Services and many more are tough to simulate and configure in a brand new setup. Cloud gives a viable pay-as-you-go model to develop, test and experiment with these new technologies when organizations want to experiment with them. Development teams love the quick setup capabilities that cloud offers.
Working with cloud is the trend in market. In addition to the three reasons discussed in this articles, organizations and CIOs will also look at cloud for cost savings, consolidation of their environments, pay-as-you-go, hybrid cloud and much more. Many CIOs consider their business data to be their most important asset and they look at cloud as one of the best ways to store and secure their data. In many cases, storing data on the cloud is more secure when compared to in-house networks with minimal / zero downtimes. Most of the cloud vendors have a number of security certifications from governments / third-party security agencies for their datacenters. And finally, most of the cloud vendors have an built-in high-availability and disaster management of their infrastructure at a minimal incremental cost, which can be especially attractive.