Jan 23, 2009

Cloud Computing = Virtual Data Center ??

I have been trying to explain the concept of "cloud computing" to several of my clients (Enterprise CIOs). Luckily I had to present the concept at our STKI 8th Annual CIO Boot camp. If you click here you can get the hebrew transcript of the CTO Round table on the subject.

In order to explain it better we have to go back in history and remember several instances when the industry gave “virtual” data center/application services. During the 70s and 80s we had accounting and payroll service bureaus and in the 90s we had ASPs for many applications. What distinguished them was their rigidity.

Then, came the whole notion of services. Delivering client needed services and using services in order to create composite applications. There were some efforts (still are) that mixed services from the on-site data center with those from another “virtual” data center.

The main and most important advancement that cloud computing offers is the ability to deliver the “right” cost-effective composite application to the user where agility is maximized and risk minimized based on the three pillars of: speed, cost and quality.

The most important definition to get through should be COMPOSITE APPLICATION. Well, a composite application is a IT service that a user gets (fast, cheap and with high quality) composed of a mix of application services (called a MASHUP) and a mix of infrastructure services (called an ENSEMBLE).



Well now that we know what services will make up our mashup and what ensemble it needs in order to run we can choose from where we take those services.

Our options are from any of 3 data centers: our on-site DC, our off-site DC or from any of vendor supplied virtual data center.

We can decide what ensemble we use in order to run which mashup…… composite application

This whole idea of building App (composite applications) from services (mashups and ensembles) based on other services we have in our data centers or in vendor data centers is called CLOUD COMPUTING. The next revolution there is also how we pay for the use of this services from virtual data centers. ON DEMAND.

1 comment:

Vu said...

I like your depiction of the cloud computer as a virtual data center. What I find most interesting as you mentioned at the end of the article is charge for the service.

I can imagine a future where users' data are oriented round the cloud and the the main operating system operates inside the internet instead of the internet operating inside it.

By moving services and demands for them toward the cloud and away from the personal desktop operating system, we open up the market to more players and not constrict it to a monopolizing force. As more companies compete for their niche in the cloud, service prices will drop toward the consumer's favor. The affordability factor will eventually create a new marketing state where the cloud becomes a necessity and available to everyone in every nation, not just for those who can afford its price.

My company, AirSet (www.airset.com) is seeking to pioneer the cloud computing market. We are starting out with a cloud computing software for groups and hoping to expand into a more prominent future in the cloud.