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Welcome to Cloud Computing Intelligence (CCi), the magazine and web/digital resource for the UK Cloud computing community. One thing is for sure, today Cloud computing is a burgeoning niche. As the sector moves from ‘hype’ mode to the attainment of real business benefits, there is a need for an independent, impartial, and comprehensive resource for knowledge that ensures businesses make the correct decisions as they incorporate Cloud computing solutions.
Our role is to educate and promote the need for the adoption of Cloud computing strategies.
Cloud computing is becoming
However, many people get hung up on the obvious aspects of the use of Cloud computing solutions,namely the cost savings and ROI that can be achieved, and the flexibility and agility inherent in the incorporation of Cloud computing strategies and treating IT as a service.
What CCi Magazine and its sister website – www.cloudcomputingintelligence.com – do is focus beyond these obvious advantages, and look in addition at the way that Cloud computing can reshape business processes, and open up new, innovative, and disruptive business opportunities. While cost advantages and agility in the use of IT will be stage one drivers behind the incorporation of Cloud computing solutions, it is the stimulation of innovation and the strategic business case that will be the medium- to long-term catalysts around which the Cloud computing revolution will develop. Cloud computing allows business to focus on its core competencies. Most, if not all, interested enterprises did not go into business to build data centres!
CCi Magazine and www.cloudcomputingintelligence.com are targeted at the definitive audience of interested CEOs, CIO, and CTOs, all of whom have been located and qualified not just because of their ‘interest’ in Cloud computing solutions, but because they have registered the fact that they are actively using Cloud computing or have a budget in place for its imminent incorporation in their enterprises. This highly targeted audience is CCi’s key strength, and indeed is the critical aspect you need to consider when looking to spend your marketing budget.
CCi and www.cloudcomputingintelligence.comhave expended months and months and significant capital in securing this audience of active prospects, ensuring that you will receive great ROI on your marketing spend.
Our mission is to overcome the hype and the ‘information overload’ that surrounds the subject of Cloud computing, and present a clear, concise and compelling case for the use of Cloud computing across business in the UK and Europe. In addition, we tailor the information not just for large multi-nationals that have moved or are moving into the Cloud computing arena, but also at the SMEs that can benefit hugely from the opportunities that Cloud computing offer, and who between them represent a massive market for suppliers of Cloud computing technologies and services.
What is Cloud Computing ?
In essence cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Eh? Confused, well let us simplify things for you. Cloud computing is in fact an umbrella term for a number of different trends, all involving the internet (the cloud) and its potential to simplify the way we use computers and extend their capabilities.
In the simplest of terms, it is an IT-as-a-Service. Instead of building your own IT infrastructure to host databases or software, a third-party hosts them in its large server farms. You then have access to the data and software over the internet.
There are a number of ways in which you can do this but there are radical differences between the various forms of cloud computing, and they do not all offer the same benefits. So in order to sideline the confusion it is worth noting down some of the basic terminology listed within our glossary.
Commonly asked questions regarding Cloud Computing:
There are three questions that we here at CCI often get asked by companies inquiring after cloud computing.
Q: Why choose cloud computing?
There are many varied reasons why a company would choose cloud computing, but often the desire to outsource the maintenance burden of servers and applications is the key and this is where cloud computing comes into its own.
Cloud computing offers companies a solution for all their data storage needs by providing an off-site data storage option saving a lot of money that would normally be invested in expensive servers and other equipment in order to store data safely and securely. Cloud provides an excellent way to store, share and access data and files anytime, anywhere with an internet connection; and the ability to replace occasional heavy expenditure on IT with regular and predictable operational expenditure. Unlike internal server systems there is no limit to the amount of data you can store and probably the best thing of all is that you only have to pay for the cloud services when you use them.
Q: What are the risks?
As with many technologies there are a few drawbacks that still haven’t been ironed out – these include loss of service if your provider has downtime or goes out of business, regulatory problems when personal data is stored internationally, security concerns when users lose control of how their data is protected, one-sided service agreements that give users little redress in the event of a calamity, and lock-in dependency on proprietary cloud applications. However, the industry is working tirelessly to address these problems and seeing as Cloud is still a fairly new technology we predict that the industry will be able to offer a more stable and secure solution.
Q: Is cloud computing green?
On one hand cloud computing does have enormous green credentials for instance it does go some way towards solving a problem called under-utilisation, where servers run constantly with little computing load, wasting money and power. The downside to that is these datacentres are power-hungry, according to research by Dr Jonathan Koomey, consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford Univeristy, he estimates that the cloud is already responsible for 1-2% of the world’s electricity use and we are using more of them as demand grows. On the other hand, there is also a view that cloud adoption, by moving companies to share pooled resources and facilities, is helping to contain what could be relentless, viral growth of duplicate data centres across every enterprise. On top of this as technology advances many in the industry who CCI have spoken with regarding this believe that a new generation of more efficient super computers will make cloud computing a truly green option.