Cloud Computing Demystified (well, in plain simple English)

Posted by admin in FAQ on November 1, 2010 with No Comments

Well, many people would have their own definition and perspective of what Cloud Computing is. It’s all the rage now. “It’s become the phrase du jour”, says Gartner. We seems to like the following:

“Cloud Computing is a style of delivering IT services to users without the need for the user to buy, install, manage or own any infrastructure.

Everything will be delivered to the user as a service — from computing power to business processes to personal interactions — wherever, however, and whenever the user needs it.”

A mouthful huh. Getting more cloudy?

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite youtube videos for your better understanding.

Still cloudy??

Let’s take a look at another cool one from the folks of gogrid.com

Don’t believe all the claims and marketing gimmick from your provider, check out the Characteristics of the Cloud Services, to ensure you’re evaluating the true cloud service provider out there.

Hope that clears the sky.. err.. cloud ;)

SKALI Cloud team.

Characteristics of a Cloud services

Posted by admin in FAQ on August 28, 2010 with No Comments

I had an interesting discussion with a partner recently, and we’re debating on the misconception (or lack of understanding hereof)  in the local market (Malaysia) with regards to the public cloud services. A lot of local people claimed that they’re currently providing public cloud services, however when we look at the details of their offering, it’s not!

He goes by saying that even the upcoming SKALI’s own Cloud services falls under that category.

Is it ?!

Let’s review and look at the definition and common characteristics of a Cloud services.

IDC says;

Cloud Services are consumer and business products — services or solutions delivered and consumed in real-time  over the Internet. They have the following key attributes:

  • Shared
  • Self-service
  • Elastic
  • Usage-based pricing

In my own understanding to explain the above points:

  • Cloud services typically runs on shared infrastructure (and often virtualised) in order to leverage the economies of scale that ultimately benefits the consumer of the lower price point (as opposed to dedicated environments). The advancement of virtualisation technology has created this possibility and security concerns in multi-tenanted environment are beginning to be accepted.
  • User able to have their own ‘admin control’ or  ‘control panel’ for a complete self-service to create/modify/delete the services they’ve subscribed. Be it a SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS based. The user has complete control within their account without the need to interact with the service provider (even to grow or shrink their services – just ‘swipe’ it to their credit card). IBM called this zero-touch provisioning.
  • Elastic – terms commonly used these days for cloud services, because it’s like the rubber-band! You can really shrink or stretch the rubber-band far as you can… but even a rubber-band has it’s stretch limit (the breaking point), however a typical cloud services capacity is only limited by the back-end infra that the provider has — that normally able to scale on-the-fly easily. As the demand grows, the building block that build the pyramid expanded — literally at unlimited elasticity.
  • As you grow or shrink of the consumed services, same goes to the amount that you need to pay. Usage-based pricing is what makes the public cloud services extremely attractive to businesses. You can start small (pay a small fee), and when your business expand, grow the services. Then if it doesn’t, shrink it back — you can do it at anytime, and just pay for what you’re using, period. Extremely popular for those seasonal businesses like e-commerce sites (during promotion), news portal sites (occasional mega stories), online tax services (that time of the year that you just hate to do :), etc

So, does the upcoming SKALI Cloud services meet all those characteristics? I proudly say, YES we do!

But don’t believe all I’ve to say, sign-up for our trial account, and judge it by yourselves!

I’ve told the partner the same….

Comments? post below.

SKALI Cloud team.

trial account request to support(at)skalicloud.com

The Cloud Pyramid – IT as a Service

Posted by admin in Tips & How-to on August 12, 2010 with 3 Comments

Hi again,

Cloud Computing comes in various definition to many people. We have been asked many times as well, and we think one of the best way to understand “what is cloud computing” is to look at the Cloud Pyramid*. It illustrate how the cloud computing services are being stack up. This would also gives you the perspective of where SKALI plays.

skalicloud-pyramid

IT as a Service

In the recent years, we have seen the new advances in processors, virtualisation technology, distributed storage, broadband Internet access, automated management and fast, inexpensive servers have all combined to make cloud computing a compelling paradigm. Cloud computing has change IT to be delivered as a Service (instead of the traditional owning an infra /server /software /development platform)… either on public or private clouds.

It has practically divided IT into 3 areas of service deliveries.

  1. Application - Software as a Service (SaaS) — an example such as Gmail, Salesforce.com, Blogspot
  2. Platform - Platform as a Service (PaaS) — an example such as Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com
  3. Infrastructure - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Terremark

To understand the cloud-model better, let’s see it by stacking it up as a building block of a pyramid — because you can’t build the layer(s) above before having the layer(s) below. For example, you can’t build a cloud-platform ontop of cloud-application. You have to build from the bottom up, and not the other way around. The higher you are on the stack, you tend to forget the importance of what’s underneath (when you use Gmail, do you really care what platform does it built upon and how complex is the server architecture?). The layers are pretty much dependent to each other, but they can somehow exist on its own (pure play PaaS or SaaS provider).

The higher you are on the stack, the more niche it gets (think crm on salesforce, and email on gmail). It requires lesser technical skills and much easier to use. It provide almost immediate benefits to the organisation/individual to use the application to increase the automation or streamline workflows to become more efficient.

On the other hand, the lower you are on the stack, the more control you have (you can control how your servers are being configured to the exact specifications and fault-tolerance you need). You have more freedom and the breadth to do whatever you need to develop your application in whichever way you can (think Windows/SQL Azure or Google AppEngine) or how the servers are load-balanced, with your chosen operating system, interacted over a specific VLAN within the cloud (think GoGrid or AWS). The lower you are, the higher degree of technical skills required. It offers the flexibility as if you run your own physical data center (this IS your virtual data center).

There are myriad of cloud service providers out there. Choose the one suitable to your needs.

We at SKALI, focusing on providing the public cloud-based infrastructure services located in Malaysia (able to serve you closer). Instead of you stuck with the traditional rigid hosting packages for a determined contract period, our cloud-infra able to provide you with the full root control and the elasticity needed to grow or shrink as you required, pay as you grow.

Do you agree with our thoughts here? comments below.

SKALI Cloud team.

Limited trials available – email us at support(at)skalicloud.com

*the Cloud Pyramid was originally coined by the innovative folks from GoGrid.com

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