Application Services

Cloud computing is the convergence and evolution of several concepts from virtualization, distributed application design, grid, and enterprise IT management to enable a more flexible approach for deploying and scaling applications.

Cloud promises real costs savings and agility to customers. Through cloud computing, a company can rapidly deploy applications where the underlying technology components can expand and contract with the natural ebb and flow of the business life cycle. Traditionally, once an application was deployed it was bound to a particular infrastructure, until the infrastructure was upgraded. The result was low efficiency, utilization, and flexibility. Cloud enablers, such as virtualization and grid computing, allow applications to be dynamically deployed onto the most suitable infrastructure at run time. This elastic aspect of cloud computing allows applications to scale and grow without needing traditional ‘fork-lift’ upgrades.

IT departments and infrastructure providers are under increasing pressure to provide computing infrastructure at the lowest possible cost. In order to do this, the concepts of resource pooling, virtualization, dynamic provisioning, utility and commodity computing must be leveraged to create a public or private cloud that meets these needs. World-class data centers are now being formed that can provide this Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in a very efficient manner.

Customers can then decide to develop their own applications, to run on their own internal private clouds, or leverage Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that run on public clouds. Integration and federation of services across both the public and private cloud, so-called “hybrid clouds,” is an emerging area of interest. The public cloud concept allows customers to develop and deploy applications with tremendous speed without the procurement and red-tape issues of dealing with potentially slow moving and costly IT departments. This also allows customers to shift traditional Capital Expenditures (CapEx) into their Operating Expenditure (OpEx) budgets.

Driven by concerns over security, regulatory compliance, control over Quality of Service (QoS), vendor lock-in, and long-term costs, many larger customers, who have the economies of scale and strong IT competency, will build internal private clouds. These private clouds can provide the same cost and agility benefits as public clouds, while mitigating enterprise concerns about security, compliance, QoS, lock-in, and TCO.