CIO Cover Story Part 1: Looking For The Silver Lining
Australian companies of all types are cautiously shifting applications out of the data centre and into the cloud. Despite all the hype, cloud computing is proving to be one trend that's more than just hot air.
The NSW Department of Planning's major project database holds information on around 150 major projects worth billions of dollars. It keeps track of numerous modifications as they work their way through the approval process.
CIO Cover Story Part 2: Cloud Control
"It's one thing to put a basic, almost self-contained system like e-mail into the hands of an outside service provider. But it's quite another thing to off-load more complicated, interdependent applications filled with sensitive data."
The term cloud computing itself can be confusing, as it was coined after the establishment of one of its key components, software-as-a service (SaaS). Research group Gartner's definition is of a style of computing where massively scalable solutions are provided as a service using Internet technologies
Cloud computing wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't somewhat . . . er, cloudy. While many of the long-term answers relating to the benefits and pitfalls of cloud computing are still unanswered, the director of IBM Australia's development lab, Glenn Wightwick believes there are at least six worth asking.
Who is in the Cloud?
Salesforce.com may have made the early headlines, but it has since been joined by a plethora of software-as-a-services companies selling almost any service that can be hosted in a data centre.
OPINION: Why my company uses Amazon's EC2 cloud
Running an Internet startup remains a tricky business, says link-sharing service ShareThis. During the past two years, more than 110,000 sites have added the ShareThis embedded link, allowing readers to forward articles or videos to their friends. The popularity has made the company's data requirements enormous: it handles up to 12,000 requests a second and 130 million page views every day.
The cloud takes many forms
When putting your systems in the cloud, a few options are available depending on exactly what you want to put there and for how long. Although each vendor offers essentially the same service -- a place to move your computing efforts away from your own infrastructure -- they break down the pricing in a number of ways. Make sure you take into account your specific needs to find which cloud suits your company best.
Case Study: Service Stream
While evidence of wide-scale adoption of cloud computing is yet to be uncovered in Australia, scratching below the surface of many established businesses reveals a plethora of individual projects and test deployments, as they strive to see how the model might work for them.Often a company's first foray will be for a specific project, isolated from the rest of its operations, but carried out with a degree of urgency.
Case Study: Strike Force Sales
One of the greatest benefits of the cloud model is its ability to allow users to increase or decrease their spend almost at will.
Storm Clouds Ahead?
Cloud computing challenges organisations to think about more effective ways to manage their computing needs. But it also presents Australia with a challenge in terms of ensuring that the country's skills are sufficient to take advantage of the economic opportunities that may stem from this new form of computing.
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