When it comes to the cost of the cloud, it is important to analyze all cloud`s models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Those three different service models for the delivery of cloud computing provide companies with the ability to mix and match the best service model to the business needs of their organization, based on requirements and payment options and depending on the vertical industry and specific applications portfolio.
As I already said in a previous post, there are a number of questions that show up frequently enough regarding the cloud computing and the switch to cloud. And the decision to migrate or not to cloud solutions hangs often by the answers to those questions.
The first question is „What is the true meaning of the Cloud?”.
As with any major technology transformation, there are many definitions of cloud computing. In very simple terms, cloud computing is a new consumption and delivery model for information technology (IT) and business services that is characterized by: on-demand self-service, location independent resource pooling, rapid horizontal and vertical scaling, pay-per-use. And the exciting impact comes from enabling new service consumption and delivery models that support business model innovation.
Do you use webmail? Or Gmail / Yahoo! Mail / Hotmail, etc? Do you communicate by messenger, whether it’s GTalk, Live Messenger, Yahoo, Skype or others? Then it means that you are in „cloud”. Messenger is the simplest example of cloud: an application that uses an instant communication service hosted on a server about which you know nothing.
This is the main cloud's philosophy: services pending on servers in different datacenters, which can be used with or without charge. To access and use a cloud computing based service you don't have to install anything and don't need extra storage space. All you need is just a web browser and an Internet connection.
Briefly, this means cloud computing. And, according to several studies conducted by IT services or IT research & consulting leading companies (Google, Deloitte, Gartner, Forrester Research, etc), more and more companies started to search for cloud solutions, trying to extra streamline operational processes and reduce costs.
It is true: cloud computing get rid of hardware investment, licenses payments and significantly increase your uptime. But every time, the managers ask the same question: „How do we measure the cloud's benefits?”.
The first quantifiable benefit is related to savings on infrastructure and operational costs. When you purchase a cloud service based on monthly or annual fee, you actually don't buy the software, you rent it. Speaking in economic terms, you will move costs from CAPEX to OPEX. You no longer have costs and depreciation assessments on those services, because you lease the service. You use and pay such as water, gas, electricity, heat.
The second benefit is that you pay strictly as you use. For example, you own a company working on projects. Sometimes you are simultaneously involved in 3-4 projects, other times just in one. Therefore, If you want the service on 25 computers, then on 50 and sometimes on 10, you can do it by paying strictly what you use. In this way optimizing costs and aligning them to the company`s activity.
In the third place, you have a much higher uptime than you could provide yourself. For example, Google has an uptime of 99.99% to those who have an active SLA.
The fourth benefit is an increased mobility. In Cloud, data is accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device connected to the Internet. This means that users can access data from office, home or travel, on laptop, PC tablet or smartphone, by using a web browser.
Last but not least, several studies demonstrated that by giving up to your company server-room, you will achieve a substantial shrinkage to electricity bills. Utilities (like cooling or power) are better used in cloud, making your company more profitable and "environmentally friendly".
Source: Forbes, Small Business Blog, Go Cloud, Agora, PC World
Two of the most prestigious research and consulting companies in business software (Gartner and Forrester Research) predicted an increased activity in the cloud computing area for 2012-2013. Increasing sales, diversifying offers, the appearance of new „clouds” (public or private), are just few of the aspects on which Gartner & Forrester experts bets.
Therefore, the biggest player in cloud-computing area (Google) could not sit passively in the face of such opportunities. And is preparing to launch GDrive, desktop and Google cloud synchronization solution. What GDrive is, which are its competitors, and if there is a similar solution on the market are just some of the questions asked by Internet users.
GDrive is not a surprise product. People talk about it for almost five years. Lately, however, rumors said that GDrive release is a matter of days, maximum weeks. And even Google`s CEO, Larry Page, manages the project.
The „GDrive” name comes from Google Drive and is a cloud-storage service that would rival one of Silicon Valley's hottest start-ups, cloud-storage provider Dropbox Inc. In other words, GDrive is Google's „DropBox”. With the advantage of being fully integrated with the famous Google Applications (Gmail, Gtalk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Groups, Google Sites). Like Dropbox, Google's storage service is a response to the growth of Internet-connected mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and the rise of cloud computing. And things will work like this: you create a folder on your HDD, whose files will be uploaded & synchronized in real time with the cloud. GDrive will allow you to store photos, documents and videos on Google's servers, so that they could be accessible from any Web-connected device. And will also allow you to easily share them.
A leaked screenshot of the service has indicated that when Google will reveal the final version of its Drive service, users will automatically be furnished with 5GB of free storage, rivalling offerings by Box.net and SugarSync, and eclipsing the default 2GB storage limit of Dropbox’s increasingly popular service (the company allows you to add more space via social sharing initiatives etc).
The initiative is a first step made towards further centralization of Google Group services under the GDrive name. Which could become a dangerous competitor for the current leader, Dropbox, but mainly for his old rival: Apple Technology and its iCloud.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, GigaOm.com, www.top10cloudstorage.com, talkandroid.com