Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Future in the Cloud - Windows Azure



There has already been a lot of buzz around cloud computing(CC). Microsoft announced their offering (Azure) in this space recently in the PDC.

I have been reading about CC for some time. Thought to make it public today.


Why does cloud computing look a plausible option? What are the key drivers?


The key drivers are:


Infrastructure set up and maintenance cost:


Cloud computing will reduce the cost associated with setting up the IT infrastructure and maintenance. This will be a real boon for SMBs or start-ups as they will be able to put the money at the right place i.e. on innovation, technology etc and not on the IT infrastructure set-up.



Of businesses : Cloud computing would certainly help in scaling up and down of businesses based on the market demands. This will be achieved with minimal cost impact with less capital expenditure.


Of apps : when youdeploy your products in the cloud, scaling of the apps would be handled through cloud services.



Cloud will offer your reliability in terms of always-on or always-available infrastructure. Of course, this is based on the assumption that the cloud service providers would have mechanisms to ensure the reliability through.


Rely upon the best practices

Most of the times whatever we are doing has been done by someone else somewhere. And, in somewhat better manner. So, cloud computing will help you in capitalizing these learnings.


Different cost models

You can have utility-based payment model where you pay as per the usage through some kind of transaction based or subscription-based model.




What will be the probable issues faced in the propagation of cloud computing in the computing world?


1) Reliability & SLAs: How reliable would they be? It depends on the SLAs defined by the cloud computing providers.

2) Security : What about the data security? This will be critical for apps in Healthcare/financial domain. The key question is, will a user be comfortable with his bank account data sitting in a network that is publicly accessible?

3) Legal obligations : there would be certain contractual and legal obligations about having apps and data in the cloud. Will you feel comfortable if your competitior’s app runs from the same cloud?


All this theory is fine. But are there any *real* examples that use cloud computing?


Yes, they are:


1) Google : to quote from here

Google has an initial edge in cloud computing precisely because of its need to produce instant, accurate results for millions of incoming search inquries every day, parsing through the terabytes of Internet data cached on its servers. Google's approach has been to design and manufacture hundreds of thousands of its own servers from commodity components, connecting relatively inexpensive processors in parallel to create an immensely powerful, scalable system. Google Apps, Maps and Gmail are all based in the cloud.


2) Amazon : Amazon runs on cloud as I read somewhere. I still didn’t find any site/source actually mentioning this clearly.


3) Some Enterprise apps running on cloud offering services infrastructure like Google App Engine, Amazon EC2. They are not listed anywhere by any of the cloud computing players. :)


Which are the key players in the cloud computing world?


1) MS Azure

2) Amazon EC2

3) Google App Engine

4) Appistry :


So, how does the future look? Cloudy? We’ll get to know it soon..



Thanks & Regards,

Arun Manglick || Senior Tech Lead


1 comment:

  1. Why Google App Engine?

    - The Google App Engine™ platform is uniquely positioned among the cloud computing offers.

    - This is a comprehensive platform on which programmers can develop cloud applications with ease and deploy them on the Google Infrastructure.

    - For small entrepreneurs developing applications on Google App Engine platform is practically free, until their application becomes a huge success on the cyber space.

    - If it really grows beyond its free quota, on storage, CPU or bandwidth requirements, the entrepreneur can continue to run the application on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    Happy CC..

    Arun M