Access and Feeds

Cloud Computing: Beginning to Take Shape

By Dick Weisinger

In 2008 Oracle’s Larry Ellison said that all the talk about cloud computing is ‘complete gibberish’ and that he just didn’t understand what it was all about.  Two years later, cloud computing has taken more shape.  It is used now as an ‘umbrella term’ that includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a provisioning model where a service provider offers infrastructure elements like storage, hardware, servers and networking components on a per-use basis over the Internet or via private connectivity.  The provider owns, houses, services and maintains the equipment.  IaaS allows organizations to extend their on-premise applications and servers.

Some of the characteristics of IaaS are that it offers:

  • Dynamic scaling up and down of resources
  • Utility pay-as-you-use billing model
  • Internet or private connection
  • Automated administrative tasks

IaaS is becoming an increasingly popular model for deploying services.   A Yankee Group report found that 24% of large corporations are already using IaaS and another 37% have plans to be able to use it within the next 24 months.  The number one problem that organizations say that they need to overcome before adopting IaaS is virtualization security.  But most companies agree that the benefits of regulatory compliance, reliability and employee use from IaaS as outweighing those issues.

The report found that 67 percent preferred the use of private clouds for deployment.  Preferred private cloud vendors included SoftLayer, Cloud Leverage, AT&T, Tata, and Savvis.  29 percent of today’s IaaS users rate Systems Integrators as their most trusted partner for working with cloud computing.

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