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the Cloud invasion … !!

06/01/2015 - Cloud, Database, Hardware, IT Infrastructure, Software, Technology, Web Services

Everything around us in today’s world is powered by – speed and accuracy, depth and breadth of information, fast growing customer base connected by social networks, best and less expensive products. With such a complex world, companies have a tremendous pressure to deliver the best products at the lowest cost possible. Wondering what is the simple solution to such a complex solution? Enter the Cloud. If you are one of those latest techno-fads, you cannot deny using/have come across cloud computing platform. Cloud has engulfed every part of our life and will grow its influence on the world exponentially in coming days.

 

Cloud computing platform is the latest buzz. But what is cloud computing??!!

Frankly speaking this is nothing new to the IT industry. If we go three decades back, any company/individual who wanted to do some complex processing would buy the processing time from a company having their own hardware/computers. The same trend is back now with a new name called cloud computing. So your next question is “So is it the same old product packed in a brand new box and marketed new?“ Yes and No.

Decades back, the hardware was the only commodity available for rent; the hardware was very expensive and so would your renting of hardware aka the processing time. In today’s cloud computing platform, the word renting has a new meaning. Companies can rent a wide variety of resources like hardware, software, operating systems, full fledged software stacks, databases, networks or a combination of few/all these. The rent is calculated based on the resource time usage. Lot of R&D has gone into building this powerful hardware backing the cloud computing platform to keep the cost of rent drastically low. The quantity of resources available for rent is unlimited. These resources can be created and served to customers dynamically within few minutes. These resources are blazing powerful and fast. All the maintenance and upgrading of resources are implicitly taken care by the cloud computing platform provider without affecting the uptime of the resources hosted.

To define in simple language, Cloud Computing Platform is a platform catering a variety of resources at very low cost that can be built on the fly within few minutes of customer’s request and with unlimited renting capacity. Cloud computing platform runs only on one philosophy – ‘pay as you use’!

 

If I have to explain this using a real life example, an electricity company is a best example of cloud computing platform.

Lets say we have a company SmartToys Inc. who is a pioneer in manufacturing modern toys. SmartToys Inc. needs electricity to manufacture its toys. There are 2 ways SmartToys Inc. can get electricity. First being, they generate their own electricity. In this model, SmartToys Inc. need to invest a lot into the electricity generation infrastructure and constantly need to re-engineer them to save electricity and keep the toy costs really inexpensive. So this model will grow complex in longer run and SmartToys Inc. will go out of business trying to generate electricity than focusing on toy production.

The next model being they rent from an external company generating electricity. SmartToys Inc. takes a smart decision of renting electricity from Power Inc.. Power Inc. is an electricity company who is into generation of hydroelectricity from several decades and have optimized the generation process to supply electricity at very cheap prices. Power Inc. has its own turbines, power transmission lines, grids and all the infrastructure required for this. They also have the electricity billing meters installed on their client premises to measure the electricity consumption; and SmartToys Inc. being one of them. This model of electricity generation and distribution has many advantages. SmartToys Inc. doesn’t have to spend time, research and their talent into optimizing the generation of electricity. They get to focus on their core business – manufacturing, marketing and selling toys.

Here electricity is the service/resource available for rent. Companies producing electricity are cloud computing platform providers(Power Inc.). Companies renting electricity are consumers(SmartToys Inc.). Consumers pay for the electricity based on the usage – pay as you use concept basis. Cloud computing platform provider takes care of supporting an uninterrupted supply of resources, maintenance and other infrastructure related issues. Also the quantity of resource consumption by any consumer is unlimited.

 

Today’s cloud computing platform aka cloud is being dominated by some of the key players/providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Each of these are unique in their own way and hence becomes a bit difficult for the new user community to get started. This article is an attempt to showcase the various services provided by each provider and to understand the their services in each category.

 

 

Name of the cloud platform provider Category of resourcesand some of the leading brands using them
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Compute, Storage, Network, Database, App Deploymentaws
Google Cloud Platform Compute, Storage, Network, Database, App Deploymentgc
Microsoft Azure Compute, Storage, Network, Database, App Deploymentmsa

 

By looking at these brands you would have realized how the whole world is running on cloud!!

 

Compute Category

These services help to setup computing instances equivalent to a physical machine or a virtual machine with specific configuration – RAM, Processor, Operating System, etc.

 

Amazon service Short summary of the service
AWS ec2 Provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.Faster and easier to obtain new server instances based on the requirements.
AWS ec2 container service Provides container service supporting Docker containers on AWS ec2 instances.
AWS Lambda Runs a snippet of code in response to the events.Easy to build applications that respond to events/information.
Auto Scaling Automatically scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down as per the need.

 

Google service Short summary of the service
Compute Engine Provides virtual machines on Google infrastructure.Implicitly supports load balancing and easy provisioning.
Container Engine Supports running Docker containers.

 

Microsoft service Short summary of the service
Virtual Machines Provides virtual machines –  Windows Server or LinuxSupports virtual network, load balancing, scale up and down.
Cloud Services Provides highly available and highly scalable services on cloud which can be used to deploy applications and APIs.

 

AWS tops this category with their fine grained services.

In AWS, the disk space service called Elastic Block Storage (EBS) is separate from ec2.

 

App Deployment Category –

These services help in deploying and managing applications.

 

Amazon service Short summary of the service
AWS Elastic Beanstalk Provides service to deploy and scale web applications. This lets you monitor application health, setup email notifications, set up rules for scaling, etc.Supports programming languages like Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python and Ruby

 

Google service Short summary of the service
App Engine Provides fully managed Platform as a Service for deploying and running applications. This takes care of sharding, load balancing, multi tenancy support and traffic splitting.Supports programming languages like Java, Python, PHP, Go.

 

Microsoft service Short summary of the service
Websites and Apps Provides Platform as a Service to build, deploy and scale enterprise grade web applications. This supports automatic scaling, access to on-premises data, security, real-time monitoring and alerts.Supports programming languages like Java, ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js and Python.

 

 

Database Category –

These services provide different ways of storing and querying the data which includes different flavours like relational, non-relational, warehouse and cached data.

 

Amazon service Short summary of the service
Amazon RDS Provides services to setup, operate and scale relational database on cloud. Suitable to host RDBMS.Supports RDBMS like MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQL Server.
Amazon DynamoDB Provides fully managed NoSQL database service. Suitable to host nosql style database.
Amazon Redshift Provides a petabyte -scale data warehouse solution. This outputs fast query performance by using columnar storage technology and also by parallelizing queries. Suitable to host data warehouses with huge data.
Amazon ElasticCache Provides an in-memory cache in cloud. Suitable for caching data.

 

Google service Short summary of the service
Cloud SQL Provides data store/database with replication, database management and patch management, easier data migration tools.Supports MySQL as the backend.
Cloud Datastore Provides a schemaless database for storing non-relational data. Supports automatic scaling, sharding, replication and also SQL like queries.

 

Microsoft service Short summary of the service
SQL Database Provides data storage capability with high availability, elastic scale, rapid provisioning. It features querying data, search, data analysis and synchronization.Supports Microsoft SQL Server as backend.
DocumentDB Provides services for using NoSQL document database-as-a-service. Create, query, access data using HTTP interface are part of this service.
Cache Provides high throughput and low latency cache to build fast, scalable applications. Some of the flavours are – Redis Cache, Managed Cache and In-Role Cache.

 

Network Category –

These services help in creating/defining a network.

 

Amazon service Short summary of the service
Amazon VPC Provides a private, isolated cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a defined virtual network.
AWS Direct Connect Provides services to establish private connectivity between AWS and business infrastructure like office, data center, etc. This increases the bandwidth throughput and hence reduces network costs.
Amazon Route 53 Provides a Domain Naming Service which is fast and scalable.
Elastic Load Balancing Automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances.

 

Google service Short summary of the service
Load Balancing Provides services for both HTTP and network load balancing.
InterConnect Provides services to connect your business infrastructure directly with Google infrastructure.
DNS Provides DNS backed by Google’s worldwide network.

 

Microsoft service Short summary of the service
Express Route Provides services to create private connections offering greater reliability, high security, faster speeds and low latencies between your business infrastructure and Azure datacenters.
Virtual Network Provides services to connect cloud infrastructure to on-premises data-center/computers/virtual machines using Azure.
Traffic Manager Provides services to route the traffic to the best data-center providing the best performance, best price and compliance.

 

 

Please check the websites for better understanding of all the services provided by AWS, Google and Azure.

 

 

Couple of years back organizations were speculating if they need to move to cloud or wait and watch.

If you see today’s world, the above question is no more relevant. Everyone realizes that cloud computing platform is the way to go if they need to be in competition.

These are some of the top use cases which cloud has solutions to:

Small/New companies cannot invest big into infrastructure. Low cost is a major criteria.

Larger organizations cannot afford a downtime due to maintenance. Zero downtime is the criteria.

New Product companies cannot predict when their product catches a huge customer base. Sudden growth is the criteria.

Companies don’t want to reinvent some of the services available online for a nominal cost like email service, analytics service, workflow service, etc. Prevent re-inventing and reuse is the criteria.

Data is growing huge. Almost 80% of world’s data was created in the last 2 years. Maintenance of the huge data is the criteria.

In today’s world, any product created and served is a service. Services need to be up and running always. Robust infrastructure is the criteria.

Future is IoT – Internet of Things which means anything and everything in the world needs to be connected to internet and able to be consumed by each other. Proper infrastructure and software service is the criteria.

This shows how big market share the cloud computing platform has achieved in such a short span.

No matter who you are, where you live and what you do, you cannot deny the fact that you haven’t been influenced by cloud.

Cloud has invaded the software industry and no denial about it!

Harsha Prabhakara
Senior Architect at Relevance Lab
Co-Founder of JavaAndJava.com, Technology enthusiast, ideator and eager to explore new technologies. Believe in adding new dimensions to any product with my ideas. Explore, learn, use and build an amazing product is my motto.

2 thoughts on “the Cloud invasion … !!

jagadish

Really nice article, keep posting about latest trends in IT.

arun

Very informative . good attempt ..cheers !!

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