Posted on | March 31, 2009 | 1 Comment
There is a lot of talk about ‘The Cloud’. The word cloud refers to the ability to host things remotely with more or less infinite data hosting resource, without you worrying where its physically hosted. Cloud Hosting then becomes a pay as you go solution for hosting data. A recent survey of UK and US businesses showcased the naviety on the solution. The findings show that more than half of UK (57%) and US (58%) businesses are unaware of the term cloud hosting.
The word cloud has recently been used for various concepts including PaaS (Platform as a Service). A leader in this space is Salesforce. Salesforce is building on Cloud Computing which is a dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources provided as a service over the Internet. This video can explain the concept better:
Salesforce Software in the Cloud
Salesforce’s Force.com has a fantastic business model of supplying PaaS (Platfrom as a Service). With Salesforce’s enormous business in developing CRM (Client Relation Management) and insight into developing applications it makes sense to open it up to developers to build on it. In principle its a programming language which uses Salesforce’s proprietary framework as building blocks to develop custom tools. This allows companies to build stuff and host on Salesforce’s cloud.
This is a fantastic example of a company developing a SaaS and allowing people to build things using their infrastructure i.e. hardware and software. Some corporates will certainly have an issue with the software not available behind their firewall. Some may also raise an eyebrow on building a system completely reliant on Salesforce’s infrastructure i.e. your company’s IP (Intellectual Property) is not only hosted on a cloud but also reliant on their proprietary technology.
Cloud Hosting for Businesses
As oppose to cloud computing users can use the power of infinite hosting without bring tied into a software. There are several providers of cloud hosting:
- Go Grid
- Amazon Web Services (EC2, S3, and CloudFront)
- Google App Engine
- Slice Host
- Media Temple
1) Select size of the cloud:
2) Select Operating System:
3). And off you go in a few minutes
Cost of Cloud Hosting
25% of UK businesses think the technology is actually really expensive in the long term. The reality is that no one really knows the cost of maintaining a server in-house or being outsourced, as expressed by Bernard Golden at CIO – Do the maths correctly for cloud computing:
In evaluating the (supposed) high cost of Amazon EC2, that raises the question: compared to what? In other words, to assert that Amazon (or one of the other cloud providers) is more expensive than doing it internally or outsourced, one has to know exactly what it costs to run a machine internally or via an outsourcer. And I’m not convinced those costs-despite the opinion expressed by my colleague-are truly known. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most IT organisations really don’t have much of an idea what their true cost of, say, provisioning a 1U pizza box server actually is.
We think cloud computing is a nifty technology which if used correctly can have several benefits for your business. If you are sceptic about cloud hosting for your social network, we recommend you buy a server or get a hosting provider and connect it with Amazon EC2 or other cloud hosting providers.
So if your traffic goes beyond your server’s capability you know there is the cloud which will kick in. Also from your CFO’s (Chief Finance Officer) perspective, you are just paying per minute of usage i.e. no upfront cost.