The cloud computing engine is a natural extension of the Internet. One of the terrific advantages is the transition to the point where there are no major software upgrade releases; cloud is about building software capability that is continuously improved. It is about hosting software on an Internet platform that works, where the user does not have to worry about the platform. Major software releases are rare on the cloud. Software test and development are an ongoing process and software upgrades are released as appropriate, but certainly on a weekly basis.
Cloud software exposes syntax and applications to users across the board for all different kinds of applications. In a sense, cloud computing is so powerful that we can think of it as a black hole that depends on the creativity of the provider. Cloud initiatives are bound only by the user’s imagination. The quantity of data and the quality of analytics leave the possibility of innovation at every users desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, smart phone, and Internet accessible device.
Cloud is in a sense another name for self-service computing. In this respect it is the opposite of the old batch oriented mainframe computers. It is a new, fleet footed, sure way for users to independently define and automate tasks in real time, using their own integration syntax and their own ability to create content modules that are meaningful. No more waiting one year for IT to prepare a mailing list that only IT can change, no more running tasks in batch. In the cloud, everything happens using open systems in real time.
Cloud computing provides a consolidated working environment where collaboration is possible and encouraged. Systems are dense. Systems use 80% less energy and transform systems management, creating automated process to replace what previously has taken hundreds of technicians. Hundreds of technicians that have been responsible for managing individual servers can be replaced with six technicians able to run a virtualized system, achieving significant savings in operations costs Running virtualized workloads on consolidated platforms is called modernization. This virtualized, software managed cloud computing environment depends on hypervisors and software systems that streamline workload deployment.
So, from the users perspective the cloud is an altogether new and different approach to computing, a utility like service where the machine is always on, always available, and intuitive to use. But, from the IT administrators perspective, the advent of cloud computing brings some of the old along with the new. The old mainframe workload manger has been revitalized, achieved new capabilities, and been given an industry transformational status, given new life under a new, more powerful cover, the IBM zEnterprise 196. The era of hybrid computing has been ushered in under the name of cloud computing.
More and more, the cloud is used to implement enterprise applications. Customization, optimization, security, privacy, availability, and reliability are key to keeping automated process producing revenue consistently. Modular systems have become key, some are built with some application SOA services orientation, and some to support Web applications based self-service.
Prepackaged, self-contained, purpose-built service delivery platforms combine the best of hardware, software and services to quickly accelerate the creation of service platforms for all types of workload.
Over the next few months I will be sharing with you my thoughts on cloud computing, across topics like the business case for cloud computing, Infrastructure as a Service, Software a a Service, Platform as a Service, and Process as a Service all in the context of cloud virtualized systems. And I will be passing along some insights from some IBM cloud experts, as they continue to grow their enterprise cloud capabilities, most recently showcased on October 12
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