Cloud Computing - Take One

Posted by chiefworker on 21 August 2009

It is not a fad - it is real ! The Cloud merely refers to the "net" - the catch is that the net could be inside the firewall - the corporate LAN or WAN or outside the firewall - the INTERnet

The former has also been often lovingly termed the "walled garden", while the latter is often spoken as SaaS - Software as a Service or Storage in the Cloud - voila!.

Enough of geek speak, let is get down to business. Let us focus on the cloud computing of the INTERnet kind.

It is very simple really - it is the practice of locating your information or application on a facility that is physically not located within your corporate LAN or WAN. So take email as an example - one can run MS Exchange or Lotus or whatever on a server that is located inside the corporate LAN or WAN OR one can used something like Google Apps. The catch is that you can still have an end user experience that is identical. For example end users can use the Outlook client to access their emails and calendars etc., but the storage and the actual email server application has somewhere - in fact if you are using Google - you can not find out!

Another example is Xero - instead of running your FMIS on a server inside your corporate LAN/WAN - you just access it over the INTERnet.

The concept is quite established, so is the technology - it is the transition of Broadband (slowly but surely) into a utility class service that is suddenly making Cloud Computing very attractive. It is bringing wide spread changes in the IT industry including demand for different skils and skillsets.

This is serious disruptive change - recently NZ Post switched to Google Apps quoting serious productivity gains - so take a good look.

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