Cloud computing is a relatively modern terminology for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. These hosted service provides servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more over the Internet which ideally offers easy placement, scalable infrastructure and flexibility among resources. In the paper ” A View of Cloud Computing”(Armbust, et al., 2010), cloud computing was referred to as : applications that is delivered as a service over the Internet as well as the hardware and systems software in the data centres that are able to deliver those applications. It even goes further to say that software have for some time been referred to as the more popular terminology ‘Software as a Service’. In simpler words cloud computing vanishes the need to purchase physical servers by providing these services over the internet
That being said not all clouds are the same. Some clouds are private, some are public and some are also hybrid cloud infrastructures. When referring to public cloud services, one way to think of it is as outsourcing of IT infrastructure and management. It lets businesses focus on their core competencies by eliminating costly IT purchases and overhead expenses. This paper examines the usefulness of public cloud services as opposed to traditional servers to be used in house.
Diagram 1: Basic deployment of a public cloud system
As seen in the above diagram, a public cloud service such as Amazon, Salesforce or Google, can deploy a variety of services to users within an organization while they maintain the infrastructure themselves.
This begs the question, which is better? Traditional computing services such as hosting in-house servers or cloud computing. Each has advantages and disadvantages but at the end of this paper, we will be able to recommend to a rapidly growing company which it should go with.
Cloud computing offers many benefits of which some of the most popular are:
1. Cost – According to Salesforce, (Saleforce, 2015), cloud computing reduces the cost of hardware. Because of cloud businesses will no longer be reliant on expensive hardware to meet the needs of a growing organization. You can simply use a pay as you go subscription model to use the cloud infrastructure you need which will be much easier on the company. Reducing initial capital expenditure within an organization will be beneficial. By using cloud deployment will not only be cheaper but easier as well. Without Cloud these major expenses of purchasing hardware and software and setting up and running on-site datacentres—the racks of servers, the ongoing electricity for power and cooling, the IT experts for workingand managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast with traditional in-house servers. As a result Cloud is deemed as the more convenient choice
2. Speed – Vast amounts of computing can be done typically within minutes thus it gives businesses a lot of flexibility and pressure off capacity planning.Also, because speed is correlated with bandwidth, it means that since cloud can allow for easy scale the growth of a company can be easily managed with cloud computing – something which traditional servers and computing will definitely lack.
3. Scale – Everything is scalable in cloud computing, from power to storage to bandwidth to location. It is all done with the end user in mind and since you pay for what you use, you can even further manage costs by scaling as needed. Scale seems to be at the core of cloud computing since it is what allows for such great flexibility in the technology. A major lack of traditional servers would be the lack of easy scale as it all takes time, cost and effort to deploy additional servers, racks, and services.
4. Productivity – An on-site data centre can require lots of space and management. Also, resources to manage these as well are additional costs and such can be very difficult to manage. Cloud alleviates these problems since data centres are not managed locally and only key users need to work for deployment.
5. Performance – Cloud computing services can be offered in two distinct manners: on-demand and self-service. It is usually upgraded as technology evolves and so what that means is if you own your own datacentres the costs associated with performance and maintenance greatly decreases as the cloud providers usually do this for a fraction of the cost. This decrease in network latency for applications to run and allows for greater management of resources. The largest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacentres, which is upgraded on a regular basis to meet the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This regular upgrading is something that would be very expensive to do for traditional servers stored in-house.
6. Security – Many cloud providers offer a wide range of policies, technologies, and controls that strengthen the security posture overall, helping to protect data, applications, and infrastructure from potential threats. (Saleforce, 2015)
Diagram 2: Cloud Benefits
According to Opus Interactive, a popular Cloud services platform in the Unites States, describes traditional hosting once deployed as cost-efficient and low-maintenance if it is a single server however if this need increases so does cost for management, space, resources, processing hardware and many other critical things making traditional servers an expense to the organization especially as the company grows (Opus Interactive, 2016).
The scenario presented states a company that is rapidly growing, and this is one of key differentiators in the type of computing environment needed. Perhaps if the company was growing at a slow and manageable pace, then traditional servers would be best suited however because the company is growing at a fast pace , therefore traditional servers and computing methods would end up being too costly, inefficient, time-consuming and just overall difficult to manage. However, it would be in the best interest of a rapidly growing company to deploy with cloud computing services since it would allow easy deployment at scale, cheaper costs, increased productivity, greater security and performance. Cloud wins this encounter by a landslide as the pros of it greatly outweigh the pros of traditional and the cons are almost non-existent.