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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why you should consider cloud computing as an option

You might wonder why is “cloud” a big deal. First, and foremost, if you have a collection of servers for your business, once you use virtualization, you’ll be able to support many virtual machines on a small number of physical machines - - some experts suggest that for each “core” on an Intel or AMD processor, you can have 3 to 5 virutal machines. Many servers are 4- or 6-core, so you could have anywhere from 12 to 30 virtual machines on one server, but you’d need to have lots of memory and storage as well. Nevertheless, the ability to run lots of virtual machines on a physical server means that you reduce the number of physical servers and that translates to less space, less electricity, less heat, and less messy cables, etc. So these benefits make a cloud an worthwhile proposition for businesses, even if you were to convert your current server farm to a cloud.
If you can move on to buying the cloud services from a third party, the benefits are even more. Now you can simply buy the computing power you need, without having to spend money up front. You can benefit from the economy of scale, the cloud vendor would typically have better redundant power and network connectivity that you could afford. Even security may be enhanced because the cloud provider can afford to hire more experienced information security staff and apply patches across all virtual machines more efficiently and promptly than you could.
You’d notice that I have a lot of “may” and “could” in justifying the benefits of cloud, that’s because you have to check it out for yourself to see if it meets the needs of your business. What you don’t want to do is dismiss cloud as an option because of knee-jerk reaction from others inside your organization who may bring up risks relating to security, data ownership, and many other issues as reasons why you shouldn’t go the cloud. All of these may be valid risks, but they also have equally valid solutions that mitigate the risk enough for you to take the plunge. The savings in IT costs alone make it worth taking the step to, at least consider cloud services as an option.

Here are some more things to help you...

Please see my previous post on "What is Cloud Computing" - - there I have a slide presentation on cloud computing that I used when I gave a talk in Seoul, Korea in Nov 2010 and the 30-minute video of the talk as well.


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