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Cloud computing – is there a silver lining?

Aug 9th, 2009 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support

10-12 months ago cloud computing was all the rage. Google, Amazon, Dell and others were and still are investing serious sums of money building massive data centers to host your business applications and data. Hosting data offsite for a fee on another larger company’s servers is not new. However, placing your business applications, such as Exchange mail server, CMS and SQL server databases on offsite rented servers (the cloud) is a newer concept. I know hosted Exchange mail servers are nothing new, in fact we have our own implementation of hosted online mail. Even hosting your content management system (CMS) in the cloud is nothing new, the most popular source being salesforce.com.
But how do you feel about hosting everything in the cloud? That is the ultimate vision of cloud computing. The concept being to minimize your costs associated with buying and maintaining hardware, software, etc… and letting a large data center with redundant everything (server clusters, large diesel power generators, multiple fiber connections to the Internet backbone, etc…). In theory this concept does make sense. But like everything else, the real world is often a long way away from the theoretical view. As I mentioned at the opening of this post, several months ago there was much talk in the media about cloud computing. In recent months that buzz has definitely (and significantly) dropped off. In addition to the waning press coverage, even when there are mentions of hosted cloud computing they are now more often negative rather than pro cloud computing. Here is a recent example of another skeptical article on cloud computing.

it may seem like I am against cloud computing, but in fact I see it as a good option in the future. I do not think most situations/companies are ready for a full implementation of hosting their virtual servers and infrastructure in the cloud. That is where a more interesting concept, at least in my mind, comes out; that of your own private cloud. A personal or private cloud allows for full virtualization of servers and infrastructure (routers, firewalls, switches) easily managed form a large redundant machine but ghosted onsite at your business. I’ll post more about the private cloud shortly.

Cloud computing is coming whether we think it is a good idea or not. There is too much money to be made and the big guys in the tech industry are pushing the whole concept of hosted cloud computing.

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