Cloud Computing – The Buzzword That Won’t Go Away

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In August 2008, IT CHANNELPLANET® author Mike Elgan complained about the problems with the term "Cloud Computing." He called it a confusing term, misleading, "a marketing buzzword." It would appear that no one's listening! The term is here to stay; albeit, its definition is cloudy at best.

What is cloud computing? It's essentially a catch-all phrase that can describe anything that happens on the internet. Because almost all business transactions occur over the internet, by this definition cloud computing has actually been around for a long time. The term is new, but the events that make up the cloud have been operating for some time. As Elgan says, "Cloud computing...was coined to put a new coat of paint on something old." It only makes specific, well understood technologies more vague and difficult to grasp.

What makes this new term so attractive is the perception that it makes new technology available, at tremendous cost savings. In reality, cloud computing does make technology available where it wasn't available before. Often, it does save money. Yet, within the same reality, what it offers isn't really new. Even where it is offered isn't all that new. Why not call webmail "cloudmail?" It's the same thing. Or is it?

Cloud Computing - Technology or Business?

The real difference in Cloud is the resultant business model. Businesses typically pay for the cost of servers, network, IT staff, rent, electricity and air conditioning when bringing a new service to market. With Cloud Computing, this changes. The model is to pay for the value received and not the cost of the infrastructure that delivers the value. A big difference...but not really a technology story.

However, the complexity of cloud services is beginning to change. When the cloud first began with software as a service (SaaS) models, the applications that were accessed were simpler to utilize. An application service such as customer relationship management (CRM) or sales force automation (SFA) was easy to use when hosted in a Cloud. But, now the need has arisen for complex, hybrid models. In service oriented architecture (SOA) applications, parts of it may reside in the datacenter, other parts in a cloud and still other services from your trading partners may be in yet a different cloud. This model is quite flexible. But, with that flexibility comes a cost - complexity. This is where the need for technology is quite necessary. These complex, hybrid services need to be monitored to ensure they provide the level of service necessary to the business.

Cloud Computing - The Balance between Reliability and Poor Performance

As the cloud has grown, so has the complexity of the IT environment. What was once SaaS  has now expanded into public, private and hybrid cloud service models.  Now, applications can be accessed from a central location that may be on the other side of the world. Anything from video conferencing and web service interfacing to movies and email are available to businesses via cloud services.

But there is one concern. And it isn't a new one either. How does a business prevent poor performance of its applications? How does a business guarantee reliability? Whether the cloud is limited to a private company network or has expanded to embrace multiple firms in a trading partner network, this is a problem that has always existed and still needs to be addressed every day.

Cloud Computing - The AutoPilot Solution

Nastel's AutoPilot has been managing complex environments for years. It's complex event processing core design enables efficient service monitoring, deep-dive transaction tracking, message tracking, application performance management, operational monitoring, and capacity planning across all tiers of the IT infrastructure, whether the components are local or on the cloud.

AutoPilot's predictive capabilities make delivering dependable service to all end-users an attainable goal. The design of the complex event processing (CEP) engine makes events that occur on the cloud just as visible and trackable as those events that occur in-house. Transaction tracing, automated root-cause isolation, performance analysis and determination of business impact-AutoPilot delivers. It is a solution that enhances business process efficiencies, guarantees service level agreements (SLAs) are met, all while reducing cost and managing risk.

Nastel's AutoPilot is a proven solution that provides the visibility that cloud users demand . AutoPilot offers the dependability of a proven business IT management solution, with the visionary ability to fit any business' cloud computing needs.

 

Denise Rutledge enjoys researching and writing about technology products. She writes on many financial and business topics, including software solutions that impact business performance in the financial industry. In addition to working with clients to develop website content, she writes on how to make a living as a writer on her writing blog.

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