Cloud computing and services include any subscription-based service that is delivered over the internet in real time, providing flexibility by extending an enterprises internal IT resources, staff and expertise. It encompasses several of the web-based solutions/services listed below.
A way to add computing, storage and bandwidth capabilities in real-time without investing in additional in-house IT infrastructure or support personnel
The customer has no incremental investment in servers, storage, support and management people and expenses.
Solutions for server, storage, security, high availability/disaster recovery, web content delivery
Key Examples: Amazon, IBM, AT&T
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS):
- The application developer delivers the application supporting a multitenant architecture over the internet that is accessed using a web browser. Includes application platform and ISV applications developed using that platform.
- The customer has no incremental upfront investment in server or software licenses for these applications.
- Solutions for business, collaboration, productivity applications
- Key Examples: Netsuite, Salesforce.com, Google, Cisco/WebEx, CitrixOnLine, Microsoft.
- Managed Services (MSP):
- Provide outsourcing or out-tasking of specific application, network, and systems management functions. Management can mean simply monitoring, or it can include management and performance monitoring of the application, system tuning, corrective actions for systems on customer’s premises.
- This service is delivered remotely over the network from the Service Provider or VARs data center, some MSPs provide onsite management/support as required.
- The customer has reduced need for IT expertise and support.
- Solutions for security, data backup, remote server/ desktop/network management, desktop virtualization.
- Key Examples: Iron Mountain, EMC, Symantec, AT&T, SunGard, HP, IBM, Verisign
- Hosted Services (HSP):
- Hosted Services provider host, service, and update the infrastructure systems and/or applications software at their data center. These systems/software is owned and managed by the service provider, and are either dedicated or shared (multitenet).
- The value-added services/ applications are delivered remotely over the network from the service provider or VARs data center to the end-user.
- The customer has no incremental upfront investment in server, storage, and support people (maybe for software licenses) for these services.
- Solutions for business, database, e-commerce, productivity, communication applications
- Key Examples: Savvis, Rackspace, Navisite, Sungard, AT&T.
Cloud architectures have the ability to scale to meet customer demand and traffic spikes in real time. Businesses don’t have to constantly re-engineer their environment and add systems to handle peak loads. Businesses don’t have to wrestle with the underlying infrastructure and core technologies or the day-to-day operational, performance and scalability issues of their IT infrastructure. Instead, they can focus their resources on the core business functions.
The primary target market and consumers for the various segments of the external cloud computing services are SMBs, mid-market enterprises and departments of large enterprises. In addition to the cloud services vendors, the VAR channel and Service Providers (network) will play a few role in the cloud computing ecosystem. What is the short-term prognosis for these services? The SMB and mid-market businesses are under severe pressures in the current recessionary economic climate. They are considering all option that help them control costs (both systems and people resources) to get through the current economic conditions and credit crunch. They are open to new and innovative ideas.
Will these market conditions provide the disruption that the cloud initiatives need to drive demand and market uptake?