Cloud computing is perhaps the most-used buzz word in the tech world right now, but to understand cloud computing is to be able to point out its main infrastructure components in comparison to older models.
So what is cloud computing? It is an emerging computing model that allows users to gain access to their applications from virtually anywhere by using any connected device they have access to. The cloud infrastructure supporting the applications is made transparent to users by a user-centric interface. Applications live in massively scalable data centers where computational resources are able to be dynamically provisioned and shared in order to achieve significant economies of scale. The management costs of bringing more IT resources into the cloud can be significantly decreased due to a strong service management platform.
Cloud computing can be viewed simultaneously as a business delivery model and an infrastructure management methodology. As a business delivery model, it provides a user experience through which hardware, software and network resources are optimally leveraged in order to provide innovative services on the web. Servers are provisioned in adherence with the logical requirements of the service using advanced, automated tools. The cloud enables program administrators and service creators to use these services via a web-based interference that abstracts away the complex nature of the underlying dynamic infrastructure.
IT organizations can manage large numbers of highly virtualized resources as a single large resource thanks to the infrastructure management methodology. Additionally, it allows IT organizations to greatly increase their data center resources without ramping up the number of people typically required to maintain that increase. A cloud will thus enable organizations currently using traditional infrastructures to consume IT resources in the data center in new, exciting, and previously-unavailable ways.
Companies with traditional data center management practices know that it can be time-intensive to make IT resources available to an end user because of the many steps it involves. These include procuring hardware, locating raised floor space, not to mention sufficient power and cooling, allocating administrators to install operating systems, middleware and software, provisioning the network and securing the environment. Companies have discovered that this process can take two to three months, if not more, while IT organizations re-provisioning existing hardware resources find that it takes weeks to finish.
This problem is solved by the cloud—as the cloud implements automation, business workflows and resource abstraction that permits a user to look at a catalog of IT services, add them to a shopping cart and subsequently submit the order. Once the order is approved by an administrator, the cloud handles the rest. In this way, the process cuts down on the time usually required to make those resources available to the customer from long months to mere minutes.
Additionally, the cloud provides a user interface that allows the user and the IT administrator to manage the provisioned resources through the life cycle of the service request very easily. Once a user’s resources have been delivered by the cloud, the user can track the order (which usually consists of a variable of servers and software); view the health of those resources; add additional servers; change the installed software; remove servers; increase or decrease the allocated processing power, storage or memory; start, stop and restart servers. Yes, really. These self-service functions are able to be performed 24 hours a day and take just minutes to perform. This is in stark contrast to a non-cloud environment, in which it would take hours or even days to have hardware or software configurations changed to have a server restarted. For more information regarding Infrastructure components for a Cloud ecosystem please visit Nubifer.com.