Understanding "Cloud" concept is crucial for building powerful and reliable solutions on the net. World software leaders invest in this technology billions of dollars, building new environment foundation for distributed applications for at least 20 following years.
In this chapter we provide simple and natural explanation of "Cloudy" future for technologies, businesses and media.
People usually refer to Cloud sign, meaning "Internet", as something abstract and endless. This symbol shows its flexibility and independence of processes, happening outside. Traditionally, "platform" was referenced as a set of hardware and software, hosting some applications. Concept of running services "In the Cloud" is an important step forward, which turns a platform itself into an "on-demand" service. As a result, instead of upgrading hardware and software services, "Cloud Platform" can be represented as: processor time, storage space, authentication service, a user group or even a huge social network for a big company or government.
Today we can see a certain branch in technologies, which assumes performing some tasks and processes "In The Cloud". This term is used to highlight the fact, that there is no preferences or requirements on where they are executed physically. It is important only that this service exists with certain SLA (Service Level Agreement) guaranteed as well it can be consumed anywhere in the world. For example, there can be service of weather, blog, e-commerce solution, ad-center, etc.
Forms of providing and consuming services can be different. They can be provided for a single person, for an organization or for other services. Services can use each other thus connecting into complex distributed systems with multiple interdependencies.
Many people don't even suspect that they have been actively using "Services In The Cloud" in certain form. Internet search services, social networks, electronic billboards and, certainly, email. These services are deployed in huge datacenters of world high-tech leaders. Consumption of such services is so simple and natural, that it can be compared to consumption of electricity or water. It can be measured, redirected, scaled or reserved. Hmarasoft consultants possess all the necessary knowledge, tools, and experience and will share them with you.
First of all, web applications naturally fit into cloud environment. They can be as regular sites and portals as complex systems with many distributed components and data sources, situated anywhere on the net. For example, social network with storages o photo-, audio- and video- content. Almost any "classical" web application can be adapted or designed initially for deployment "In The Cloud", resulting into significant benefits.
The other benefit of Cloud Platform is its ability to get huge peak performance of processing resources. Today every company, that needs such calculations, has to build its own datacenter. Performance of these datacenters is finite, as well as cost of such calculations is high. It is much more efficient to use Cloud parallel calculations for this kind of tasks.
Solving certain problems requires huge data storage and great processor capacity to process this data. For example, applications for financial analytics, modeling and forecasting. These applications should be run periodically and are required to provide results within short period of time. Placing such kind of applications to the cloud will eliminate the necessity to keep expensive data centers, as well as will guarantee shortest possible time to wait for results.
In the cloud it is possible to run almost all applications, intended to run on regular hosting (own or rented). The only difference is that this application must be designed to support deployment "In The Cloud". Even old applications, designed without Cloud support, can be adapted for Cloud deployment. However, it should be efficient from the point of view of costs of such adaption.
Cloud Platform is a service itself, so it can be bought from Microsoft based on certain SLA (Service Level Agreement) and "amount of service".
Today many businesses tend to outsource support of their server infrastructure to 3rd party companies. Cloud Platform provides the next generation of such approach when there just will be no need to care of infrastructure, its support and upgrade. Instead, company will consume cloud platform services using "pay-as-you-go" model. This model is much more efficient and reliable than traditional.