Cloud Computing

The Rise of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is growing in popularity. But what does it really mean? Do you have to be sitting on a mountain with a computer among the clouds or on a plane with a laptop? Does it work when it’s sunny? Can you actually type on a cloud computing keyboard? Cloud computing is pretty big and it’s growing bigger everyday. They are basically three layers to cloud computing, companies use them differently based on what they offer. At the bottom is the foundation, the infrastructure. This is where things start and where people begin to build. This is the layer where cloud hosting lives. So let’s talk about hosting in the Cloud which is an older concept that due to technology advances is finally starting to work really well.
Let’s say you are a company and you have a website and the website has a lot of short conversations that are exchanged between members. You start with a few users talking to each other and they start telling their friends about your site and they tell their friends and their friends tell their friends and so on. You are successful but with success can come problems. Your equipment just can’t keep up with the demand. Your server slows down and suddenly you are in trouble. A few years ago you would have put your website on a computer or server somewhere and when your success kicked in, you had a run around and buy or rent new servers. Set them up or have someone set them up for you. Hundreds of thousands of companies do this now, it costs a lot of money and it takes lots of time. This is called hosting, it takes time to set them up and they cost quite a bit of money to keep running all the time. You pay for these servers when you’re using them and you pay for them when you’re not using them. You really just wanna build your service and improve your product but instead of success your customers are getting angry and your successful business is shrinking away.

Now you have a better option-Cloud Computing. With Cloud Computing you have access to computing power instantly when you need it put your website on a cloud server just like you would put it on a dedicated server and when people start visiting your site if you suddenly need more computing power dedicated to your website, you can scale up as much as you need almost instantly. You get your computing power as you need it from the cloud on demand and your customer stay happy without noticing any difference and if your traffic dips back down you can release your servers back into the cloud just as easily. This is a major advantage. Billing is easy too. It works the same way you pay for mobile phone airtime or electricity, when you turn on a light the metre starts running and you are billed for the electrical power that you take from the power grid and when you’re done with the light you turn it off and the metre stops running or you can think of it like getting a taxi the metre runs when you ride it, runs much stops when you stop. When you’re done with your ride you get out and you pay your fare. Why buy the whole taxi when you can just pay for the trip.

But wait, how do you actually work with the cloud? You can’t physically touch the hardware… Easy using your own personal computer your remotely access your cloud server and control it. You can put whatever you need on it, a website, software code or whatever and then just disconnect it when you’re done. You never actually touch it physically, the key with cloud computing is not to focus on the hardware. Just focus on your website or software or code or whatever it is you’re doing. Think of it like you would any other cloud service you are already using such as GMail, Dropbox, Netflix, Microsoft Office 365, and so forth. Do you really care where and what physical server your Gmail emails hosted? Isn’t it vastly more important how the server works and that it’s reliable, stable and easy to use.

Cloud computing has 3 delivery models, namely Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Cloud Computing- Use Case Examples

Netflix is a world premier service for enjoying movies and tv shows. Netflix streams billions of hours of content globally by running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). To be successful and outcompete a number of players, they to be great at a number of things. They have to have great content, personalization, device penetration, customer service and user interface (UI). Operating data centers is not one of those things, if anything, it would be a distraction to them.

On the AWS, they run transcoding and streaming applications. Scalability for streaming services like Netflix, which has been growing tremendously over the last few years is really critical. It’s important for them to have thousand of servers and terabytes of storage at minutes notice. According to Yury Izrailevsky, Netflix’s VP of Cloud and Platform Engineering, in the past when they had high priority critical encoding tasks, they would sometimes spin up thousand of servers and only complete the task in hours or even days, and then spin it down when they no longer need it. However, now with AWS cloud computing, they say they have increased their reliability significantly, by eliminating the complexity of running data centers. Additionally, using redundant multiple availability zones has helped them achieve that high level of availability, which ultimately enhances the user experience.

For NetFlix, migrating to the cloud computing platform AWS, has come with the benefits of higher efficiency and higher availability.

Here are 9 reasons why cloud hosting is becoming so popular

Why so many customers are moving to the cloud and why they doing it so quickly?

1.Trade Capital Expense for Variable Expense: The first thing is, if you can trade capital expense for variable expense, it’s very attractive. Instead of having to layout all that capital for data centres and servers before you know how you gonna use them and if you don’t have to do that and instead just pay as you consume resources on a variable basis, it’s very appealing.
2.Lower Variable Expense Than Companies Can Do Themselves: On top of trading capital expense for variable expense, customers love the fact in the cloud they get to pay lower variable expense than they can do on their own and that’s because the cloud computing companies are able to take their very large scale and pass this on to customers in the form of lower prices. This tends to create a very interesting virtuous circle. In which as these cloud computing players have more customers who use their services more, it means they have to go buy more infrastructure, but as they buy more infrastructure they get economies of scale which lower infrastructure costs. As they lower their infrastructure costs they are able to lower their prices to customers which drives more customers. So it’s very useful virtuous circle for both customers and these big players in this space. It turns out that you can inject energy into this flywheel. So as they add new services and new features as they expand their global footprint and as they continue partner with their very large and growing ecosystems so that more companies can run the applications they want to run on their clouds, more companies can help the systems integrators to actually get moving to the cloud, it turns out they are able to spin that flywheel even faster. As are able to continue to innovate on their infrastructure, so in their data centres and their networks and with hardware they are able to get better economies of scale which further allows them to lower their infrastructure costs and lower prices and again spin the wheel going even faster. We have already seen this with AWS which has lowered prices on 23 different occasions in the last few years, largely in the absence of any competitive pressure to do so.
3.You Don’t Need to Guess Capacity: Unlike with self hosting clients, cloud computing clients don’t have to guess about capacity anymore. If you have tried to launch a new project you know that you have to guess what your capacity is going to be and that’s actually really hard to do without knowing what the customer responses is..and so what happens is you end up making some projection represented by the green dotted line and the actual usage is off and something like the solid white line.
What that means is that in the beginning you are actually sitting on a lot of wasted capital resource until your application takes off, and then if it does your left with too short capacity. You either have to decide to provide a bad customer experience which most people don’t choose or you have to run around like a chicken with your head cut off and find somebody can get you that infrastructure quickly and you almost always over pay and over commit to do it. In the cloud, that problem goes away. You don’t have to guess, you provision as much resources as you think you need early on, if it turns out you need more you seamlessly scale up. If it turns out you don’t need as much as you provision at one point, you just scale it down and stop paying for the excess. Now, that’s very different model than the last 30 years.
4.Dramatically Increase Speed & Agility: the cloud dramatically improves how quickly they can get to market with whatever applications are thinking about. In the old world if you if talked to an engineer of an enterprise or a company and you ask them how long does it take you to provision a server for something new. The answer would range from 6 to 20 weeks. This just stifles innovation, people figure why bother if it takes so long? In the cloud you can provision completely on your own, you don’t have to talk to nobody You can provision hundreds or even thousands within minutes and that really changes how quickly you can deploy applications. The two most important things are -(1) Being able to try out a lot of new things (experiments) and (2) If those experiments don’t work, of which many of will not work if you are really pushing the envelope, not to have to live with the collateral damage of failed experiments. In the cloud you can spin up thousands of instances in minutes so you can try out any experiments you come with, and if they don’t work you can give back or use them for other experiments if want to try. This changes the game and how fast companies can move forward.

5.Stop Spending Money on Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting: There are scarce resources in most companies. Software development engineers or the engineering teams have the song list of priorities and projects that the company wants to do and they are left with this unpleasant experience of having a try to prioritise between them. Those decisions really hard to make. If you can take that scarce resource for software development engineers and instead of having them focus on the infrastructure which is important but hardly ever differentiates your business and instead have them focus on projects that move your mission or your business forward. That’s huge advantage. Cloud computing allows them to do just that.
6.Simplified Data Recovery and Backup: As the whole data resides on cloud rather than a physical device, the process of data recovery and backup is simplified. The data could be stored off-site and could be easily copied to different servers in various locations. Thus businesses can retrieve the data from other backup networks even though one might go down. The software program of the backup service will encrypt the data in a computer prior to sending it to the cloud. The virus or infection can also be detected before sending the data with the help of this technology.
7.Redundancy and Scalability: Resiliency is a major benefit as it defines that the data centers and its components such as servers and storage would continue to function even though some kind of disruption occurs. It is also scalable which means even smaller companies could get immense value in using data centers that help them manage their cloud computing.
8.Go Global in Minutes: Cloud computing customer like the fact that they can provide a global high-quality user experience all over the world. Virtually every company now even, start ups from day one, given the nature of the internet and the mobile world we live in, have a global end users. In the old world, people would store their applications or run their applications in one data centre or a couple of data centres in one geography and the idea of actually being closer to their global end users seemed like a nice to have but “I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, I don’t know who to rely on and I don’t know how to contract with them I don’t speak the language in some cases, it just seems like it’s not gonna be easy to do” and so most don’t. But in the cloud, the game changes… You can have your application in any one of the nine regions the major cloud computing companies have all over the world and that means you can provide a lower latency experience to your customers which is a much better end user customer experience.
9.Device Independence: It could be accessed from any device which has access to the internet making it device-independent in its characteristics. This means that any device which has a browser as well as an internet connection could leverage the benefits of these services.

So in summarising the benefits why people are moving so fast the cloud, it’s that they get to change capital expenditure for variable expense, pay lower variable expense and they can do on their own, they don’t have to guess on capacity, they can move quicker which enables a lot more Innovation, they get to spend their scarce resources on projects that move the business forward, and they can go global with their application presence in minutes.
Using cloud hosting will save you time and money and it’s there for you to use instantly so dump those old servers and head to the clouds.