What is cloud computing

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Information about What is cloud computing

Published on March 9, 2014

Author: EtharAlali



Cloud computing has been around a while now. However, come business and technology managers still find the concepts baffling or struggle to decide how to move to the cloud.

This informal presentation introduces the basics of cloud computing and gives you the top-3 tips to decide if cloud is right for you and how to migrate effectively.

WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING? …and why should you care? A managers view

Definition Cloud Computing noun: cloud computing; the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

How is Cloud Computed!? Cloud computing hosted in large company data centres. There are 3 main players. Smaller companies, traditional hosts and resellers enter the market all the time, offering greater or lesser features

Cloud Saves Unused Resources Most computing resource you pay for is never used. Saving you these costs of hosting your own dedicates servers (virtual or physical). CPU Utilisation Over 7 days 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 Computing Cost 12.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 9.00 12.00 6.00 3.00 105% 100% 95% 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0.00 Average CPU Use 3.00 e.g. You save this bit! :)

Three Main Forms of Cloud Platform Each builds upon the layer below SaaS PaaS IaaS •No need to provision any services. Pay as you go use of web based applications •Websites •Webservices – Hosted APIs that you use but don’t control or manage •Applications - e.g. SalesForce, BaseCamp, DropBox, G-Drive, Outlook, SkyDrive •Provision your own services using Cloud provider consoles, APIs, CLI or dev tool integration. Hosted on Virtual Machines but VM provisioning is transparently handled by provider software (i.e. don’t manage individual servers) •Microsoft Azure – Web and Worker roles •Amazon Web Services – Elastic Beanstalk, Autoscaling… •Google AppEngine •Working at the server level, you provision and manage your own compute and storage VMs, as you do in your own data centres •Microsoft Azure – VMs •Amazon EC2 and S3 instances

Comparing Cloud with COLO In-house you need to… In Cloud… • • • • • • • • • • • Manage availability and hardware redundancy Provide cooling Rent/Buy floor space Pay utility overheads (e.g. electricity) Manage whole security and infrastructure stack Operate backup and DR Assign staff to manage it Pay for peak usage demand at all times Have full control of all VM hosts and guests Setting up new infrastructure takes time Everything packaged “…as a service” – – – – • • • • • Unused storage & CPU isn’t paid for No internal staff need manage it Auto-scale services according to demand Very cheap provision compared to in-house Very high availability – • • • • • No extra costs No data centre floor-space rental No backup power costs No redundancy costs 99.95% per VM typical. Some achieve 8 ‘9’s or even 100% for AWS Route 53 Potentially limitless computing power Potentially limitless storage Take control of VMs if needed Can run Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) or hybrid with existing datacentres or servers Can provision services in minutes

Sounds Rosy! :) BUT…

Pitfalls… • Only AWS has achieved adequate PCI-DSS provision for hybrid/VPC • Special security, such as multifactor authentication, can spiral operational costs! • Not all platforms support all features, so check what you need • Microbusinesses will pay more for cloud than virtual server hosting • Have to explicitly architect solutions to gain greatest yield

Top-3 Tips for Using Cloud! …to take away and use!

Tip 1. Understand Cloud Benefits • Cost EVERYTHING!! – – Systems, People, Knowledge, Processes, Costs, Buildings, Cooling, Utilities, Replacement Parts… ITIL can aid investigation • Examine Requirements – Particular pain-points include security & data transfer • See if any skills can be leveraged – Otherwise procure the services of skilled consultants who can find the optimal platform for you • Compare with AWS costs to host same services. – cheaper + meets all requirements -> choose cloud – cheaper + meets some -> hybrid. Cloud used for painless provision – Not cheaper -> choose COLO/VHosting Devil is in the detail!

Tip 2. Architect For Cloud • • • As with all platforms, cloud needs to be architected for If you don’t have the skills in house, procure services of skilled cloud specialists Be aware of your scaling profile – When is your peak computing usage? – How much does your data storage requirements increase by across your estate per hour/month (including DR)? – How much compute and storage capacity did developers use and need? If you scaled your teams, what would it be then? • • • • Use asynchronous design to minimise thread locking, requiring less VM provisioning Use load-balancing and cloud IP to decouple hardware Use message passing to decouple application components Scorecard all options – Cloud offers plenty of options, some better than others for your needs – All meet your functional requirements • use qualitative factors to compare providers rigorously Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.

Tip 3. Take Advantage of ‘Free’ Clouds • In scramble for new customers, big Clouds provide 12 months free hosting and use • Use EVERYTHING! Utilise teams closest to cloud, use slack time to – Download APIs spike. – Play with Consoles – Programme PoCs, ancillary or low risk services to Cloud to learn • Monitor the benefits to check assumptions • Based on that assessment, decide what and how much to move to Cloud

More Information External Links • Amazon Web Services ( • Windows Azure ( • Google App Engine ( Dynacognetics are Cloud experts on Azure, AWS and Google. We are both Microsoft and AWS Partners and always aim to sell services that specifically meet your business needs, by offering solutions across all major providers including Google. Find out more at! @Dynacognetics


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