To Cloud or Not to Cloud?
Cloud Computing is a revolution, and database storage on the cloud is coming of age. In this second decade of the new millennium, Cloud Computing is altering the way individuals and companies store data. For many years, data was contained on premise, in traditional servers. Cloud computing is now here to advance the traditionalist way of data storage, to propel the small and medium markets to faster and more precise business analytics and data storage.
To cloud, or not to cloud? Many people they are at this crossroad. Business owners are stuck with this question because they are focused on the cost of maintenance. They worry about the cost of upgrading servers and software for on premise computing, versus the monthly cost of cloud computing.
As both approaches have helped a multiplicity of companies, we must examine and strategically outline what works best for you. Companies such as Oracle and Netezza have supported the traditional idea of on premise storage. These companies have been powerhouses in their respective field of work. Most notable, Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison combated cloud computing with this quote from a 2009 interview:
“All the Cloud is, is computers in a network….Our industry is so bizarre. I mean, they just change a term and they think they’ve invented technology.”
Although components of cloud based storage such as pay as you go cost and third party integration have been around prior to cloud computing inception, the fundamental basis of cloud computing is different. In an attempt to rebuke this notion, the CEO of salesforce.com, Marc Benioff, an Ellison protégé, responded with this statement at the 2010 Oracle Open World Conference:
“Our definition of Cloud Computing is multi-tenant, it’s faster, half the cost, pay as you go, it grows as you grow or shrinks as you shrink. It is extremely efficient. We’re not going to show you computers taller than you. We’re not going to show you a cloud in a box because clouds don’t come in a box. They never have. That’s the whole idea.”
Benioff denies the notion that buying more hardware or better hardware doesn’t equate adequate support for what the cloud is designed to do. But rather the cloud is designed to make computing simplistic in scope and mobile for all levels of business development.
What is Cloud Computing?
The term “Cloud Computing” was a phrased coined by Sean O’Sullivan in the early 1990’s. In the developmental stages of composing the cloud, the phrase cloud computing was born as Compaq and O’Sullivan company NetCentric had laid the early foundation for the revolution that is sweeping the World.
The Graph Below indicates that IT decision makers will increase budget spending for “Cloud Computing” by 42% in 2015. Source: ComputerWorld 2015 Forecast Study
The concept of the cloud is simple, bringing enterprise functionality to small and medium market companies. The four key components of Cloud Computing are as follows, Virtualization, Democratization of Computing, Scalability and fast provisioning, and Commoditization of Infrastructure.
Compared to a traditional warehouse server, Cloud Computing is able to handle multiple inquires at the same time. Traditional warehouse servers are essentially individual computers, each with the ability to single task. Although, continuing to improve with the like of new database warehouse servers such as Netezza which operates multiple inquires, “Cloud Computing” also handle multiple inquires for multiple users at the same time. Virtualization helps to reduce cost for the common company. Users will spend less running cloud server services because of the lack of equipment, the ability to save space, and have more processing power.
Democratization of Computing
Prior to the inception and acceptance of Cloud Computing, anyone wanted to start a business was poised with the task of obtaining software and hardware licenses to run productivity and commercial software throughout their business. Cloud Computing brings enterprise level infrastructure to the smaller entities. Formerly, purchasing power was the stronghold whereby, companies struggled to obtain these sources but now they are not. Products such as Office 365 are cloud operated, obtainable and are able to be spread throughout a business, not for just single-use but corporation use. Many application provider offer productivity services for a low monthly cost to businesses. The democratization of computing allows for the accessibility of rapidly scaling infrastructures of services previously unobtainable to all except the largest of corporations.
Scalability and fast provisioning
Cloud Computing grants businesses the ability to acquire and maintain a specific level of infrastructure. The growth of companies are measured and although, not necessarily measurable by the naked eye, by how much companies are spending in comparison to their income. Companies promote their growth by paying for what they need rather than a streamlined price. The ability for an organization to scale is an asset, which frees up revenue to promote other projects.
Commoditization of Infrastructure
The face of Cloud Computing is changing the role of IT. Although the face of Cloud Computing’s major benefit is cost reduction, there is an undercurrent of business agility and mobility. With the scaling reduction in cost, resources are readily and rapidly available to help add value to businesses. Hence, the move to cloud requires IT departments to move with the changing times. Rather than being one master technology, cloud components are simple, employing individuals with business finesse rather than technical mastery.
Centaur Partner’ forecasts that SaaS and cloud based business application services revenue will grow from $13.5B in 2011 to 32.8B in 2016, Source: Centaur Partners
According Forrester Research, Global SaaS software revenues are projected to reach $106B in 2016, a 21% increase from projected 2015 spending levels. Source: Enterprise software spend to reach $620 billion in 2015: Forrester
Therefore, the increased productivity of “Cloud Computing has garnered tremendous and widespread acceptance. The projections indicate that companies are shifting to mobile and cost efficient solutions for businesses. Opportunities are ripe for the new echelon of IT and predictive analytics.