In the world of information technology, it seems that every few years a new concept comes along that emerges as being the next great leap in technology. One of the current concepts that fits that description in the IT world is called cloud computing. However, before a company decides that it will embrace cloud computing, it needs to make sure that it understands all the implications of this new offering. As with most technologies, there are many benefits that can be gained, but along with understanding the benefits, the business risks must also be evaluated. When making this evaluation, it is important to keep in mind not only the short term needs, but the long term objectives and goals of the organization. In recent years, the Obama administration has pushed for all federal agencies to investigate cloud computing to see if it will benefit each agency. “The Federal CIO Council …

Read More

As an alternative to the three tiered classification of cloud based services – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) – cloud computing can also be classified based upon how the underlying networks are implemented and accessed by the client. The following article provides and overview of the two principle models Public and Private Clouds.
These models do not describe strict architectures and so a variety of configurations can be employed to achieve each model of cloud computing. Furthermore, each model can be used to offer each tier of cloud service as mentioned above.
Public Cloud
When most people think of cloud computing they think of a typical public cloud model where the services on offer are available to public customers through a public network, usually the internet. The accessibility of this model allows for cloud services to be supplied to …

Read More

In the previous installment of this article, the two fundamental models of cloud computing, private and public clouds, were described. The following installment introduces two further variations on these models which can be used to add flexibility to an organisation’s IT infrastructure, the hybrid and the community cloud models.
Community Cloud
A community cloud model describes a scenario in which a number of organisations with similar IT demands club together to use the same cloud infrastructure. They are particularly appropriate where the organisations perform similar functions and therefore require the same configurations, especially in relation to security and compliance. In essence it is a half-way house between the private and public cloud models.
The model is similar to that of a private cloud in that it is a ring fenced platform which ensures greater levels of security than the public cloud offers and it can also be hosted internally by …

Read More

For the last couple of years the IT industry has been getting excited and energised about Cloud. Large IT companies and consultancies have spent, and are spending, billions of dollars, pounds and yen investing in Cloud technologies. So, what’s uh, the deal?
While Cloud is generating lot more heat than light it is, nonetheless, giving us all something to think about and something to sell our customers. In some respects Cloud isn’t new, in other respects it’s ground-breaking and will make an undeniable change in the way that business provides users with applications and services.
Beyond that, and it is already happening, users will at last be able to provide their own Processing, Memory, Storage and Network (PMSN) resources at one level, and at other levels receive applications and services anywhere, anytime, using (almost) any mobile technology. In short, Cloud can liberate users, make remote working more feasible, ease IT …

Read More

The notion of running everything in the cloud was first pushed by Microsoft at the 2009 Worldwide Partner Conference when CEO Steve Ballmer introduced the enterprise level cloud computing platform Windows Azure. While Azure was more of a “supercomputer in the sky” for shared computational power, it’s not something the average SMB would likely use. However, during that same week Microsoft presented BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) to address the needs of the SMB market.
BPOS delivered Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communicator, and LiveMeeting through the cloud and was designed to give SMBs a way to move from traditional licensing models and expensive hardware requirements to a pay-as-you-go service plan. However, the number of SMB customers that could take advantage of BPOS was limited because something was lacking; a better Outlook client to handle the mail. Add to that the number of organizations using older versions of Office which were incompatible …

Read More