Is #Cloud as important to CxOs as it is to farmers ?
The cloud, as we all know from our childhood, is fluffy and cuddly. Seen in floating shades of white and grey. Many times, bringing rain, helping farmers and doing all such sorts of mostly goody things. But the cloud invented by IT is a completely different animal. It is neither floating in the air nor does it blow away with the wind. Rather it requires huge quake resistant buildings on the ground, with hundreds of servers, very fast internet, industry grade cooling and a “special cloud software” to run it all, and yet surprisingly enough, it’s still called Cloud.
Basically, cloud is putting the economies of scale to work. Instead of everyone buying and maintaining their own servers in their own offices, why not have one person maintain thousands in one place and give parts of it for you to use whenever required. That sounds cheaper and because of internet you can use it from your office without going to the cloud office or bringing any physical parts of their server to your office. And ofcourse the most important part is the “special cloud software”, this is actually the engine which makes it possible for the cloud provider to give small parts of his server(s) for you to use from your office over the internet.
There are few added benefits of doing this,
(a)You Pay only for what you use. In case of cloud there are options where you pay only for the amount of computing power and memory that you use.
(b)Scalable. Unlike physical servers, the cloud server can upgrade and downgrade in few clicks. You can add memory or CPU without physically opening it up, again thanks to the “Special Cloud Software”.
(c) As there are no physical servers at your office, the costs related to that (AMC, cooling, space, etc) are also not required.
So you got a cloud server, what next ? The next step is almost same as what you would do for a new server i.e. your IT team will have to install the operating system (e.g. windows), configure it & install required software’s on it, only then you will actually be able to use it.
Now coming to the biggest question. Will I really save money? . The answer is “Kabhi Ha Kabhi Na”. There was actually a Bollywood movie by that name meaning Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Lots of songs, dances, love triangles and crying and…….anyway this is not a drifting cloud, so coming back to the topic. The costing part will depend on what you already have and what your future business plans are. Also, depending on your needs there can be other options too. So this calls for a fair bit of analysis before taking the decision. I will try to cover that along with examples of types of clouds and how to use them in my next article otherwise this one will get stretched too long.