One of the buzz words that someone may have thrown at you lately is “Cloud Computing”. It isn’t computing that is powered by vapor generated by clouds (this is in my head because I picked up a bottle of smart water yesterday, which supposedly is from cloud vapor!). So what is Cloud Computing?
“Cloud Computing is a service that delivers unlimited amount (aka scalable) of computing resources and delivered by an army of servers (aka virtual and not a single physical server), provide all over the Internet as a utility.”
The key points to keep in mind are:
– “unlimited amount (aka scalable) of computing resources”
If you are a developer building large scale applications that have potentially intensive computing needs or needs to support a large volume of users, you may have stumbled or scrambled to add more memory, servers, etc if your application/website took off and you needed to buy more hardware. Well, Cloud Computing takes care of this issue by being a virtual environment and delivered by servers spread across multiple data centers. If your application reaches a certain tipping point and needs more computing cycles, the Cloud automatically assigns you resources so you can continue to scale and support your users. All this happens automatically and your Motorola 91×2 (fictitious) pager/beeper (do they still exist?) can get a good night of sleep without being bothered by the boss.
– “over the Internet as a utility”
I just saw my February utility bill and nearly ate it (maybe if it was organic recycled paper!). Thanks to New England winters but I can count on the rest of the year to be a lot less expensive. The same concept applies to Cloud Computing. Your web application may have peaks and valleys (unless you are Facebook) and your users maybe online primarily between 9 – 5 (especially if you provide a web service to b2b customers) and it doesn’t make sense to invest in permanent infrastructure. Cloud Computing is able to scale in both up and down directions based on your application needs. As it spirals upwards, hopefully your application is making your more $ and you should be willing to pay for additional resources but if things are slowling down, you are not stuck with a large bill at the end of the month.
One of the best videos about Cloud Computing I’ve seen recently is from Salesforce.com (a pioneer with Cloud Computing).
RackSpace, is another pioneer with Cloud Computing and its MOSSO service. As a RackSpace Select Partner, we are offering a 30 day trial of MOSSO to help you launch into the Cloud. Contact Us and we will be happy to get your going on the MOSSO Cloud.