A Peep into the Era of Cloud Computing

Today, much like electricity, one can easily access any kind of information through internet whenever they need. All this became possible just because of cloud computing. This new cost-effective, as well as an environment-friendly methodology for both users as well as service providers, is a win-win solution.

Irrespective of the core competency of one’s business, Information Technology (IT) is becoming ubiquitous. But, queries on the acquisition and management of IT systems still baffle several business owners. This newest methodology Cloud Computing has made their lives more comfortable and easier by enabling the user to access IT solutions remotely whenever required.

Clearance of the Cloud

Being an Internet-based computing solution, Cloud, on demand denotes a set of shared resources, software and information provided to computer devices. Over the network, information tasks are assigned through a combination of connections, service and software in the cloud.

This on-demand approach to IT resources can be laid down for use with infrastructure, applications or platforms. Also, customers can avail fixed plans, by which there is a flat fee and their data center is managed by the company or they can go for a variable plan where on virtual machines they can access the solutions online and pay per use. Reducing the energy costs for running and cooling hardware, there is a need for reduction in hardware components as an incidental benefit in various companies. Furthermore, as this process reduces carbon dioxide emissions, it is more eco-friendly.

Universal Acceptance

Over the next five years, International Data Corporation (IDC) is expecting global spending on IT cloud services to grow almost threefold. And the pace with which expenditure is done on cloud computing will be accelerated, capturing 25% of the growth than in the earlier years. The cloud market is estimated to grow up to 1 billion dollars in India.

Especially, concept of cloud is favorable for the small as well as medium enterprises as tremendous cost cutting in IT is enabled through this. Today, it has seen demand from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) segment, from online media companies, trading companies and manufacturing companies. This estimates that SaaS (software-as-a-service) market to grow by 35% from the current million dollars. The IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) market is at 3-4 million dollars currently and is expected to grow with 50-60% growth rate. Although different studies give different estimates, but this will be the upcoming market trend.

Also, it is believed that this concept will spread across segments. As this shared computing resource is percolating to healthcare industries, banking, BPO and finance segments while startups and SMEs are becoming aggressive about it.

Accruing Benefits

Cloud computing provides various advantages to its users. Firstly, it helps in conserving energy so it is eco-friendly. It minimizes the expenditure on IT infrastructure and also it benefits cost economy and resources. Additionally, pooling of resources is leading to load balancing, superior performance and entire use of server capacity.

Accessing solutions remotely indicate that the user can be found anywhere. These processes of remote access help in strengthening the security and monitoring systems. Since, virtual memory systems are running simultaneously, breakdown does not affect operations as service providers stack multiple virtual machines. Also, it enables the IT head to keep focus on strategies that are aligning IT usage to company requirements.

Way Forward

Over the years, cloud computing has given a paradigm shift from the way IT has been used till now. Its nascent stages are still prevailing, but, the service providers are optimistic based on their own experience. For example, in May 2008, NetMagic within 8 to 9 months of launching Cloud 1.0 acquired 100 customers. And in next year by September 2009, the company experienced 400% growth by launching their Cloud 2.0 virtual machine model. According to the resources, cloud computing contributes 10% of NetMagic’s revenues to the tune of about 4 to 5 million dollars.

In addition to building its own products, CA Technologies formerly known as Computer Associates International has also acquired several companies including NetQoS, Oblicore and 3Tera to enter into new and adjacent markets, substantially upgrading existing offerings to its clients. This segment is not only generating substantial interest amongst users and service providers but also these are the examples of IT companies wanting to come on board the cloud wagon. Alike as this presents each with a viable solution to their business needs. Indeed, cloud computing promises to be the next big thing in IT.