A simple overview of cloud computing

by David Spark on June 25, 2009

At GigaOm Structure ’09, the cloud computing conference, in San Francisco, Paul Sagan, President and CEO of Akamai, gave a simple overview of cloud computing. While it was far too simple for the assembled audience, and it ended with a sales pitch that hasn’t changed in ten years, I thought it was valuable for those people who didn’t understand cloud computing.

No surprise that the mood of the room was that cloud computing is inevitable. The argument, as Sagan pointed out, is that every category now has a SAAS solution.

Here’s Sagan’s simple overview of cloud computing.

Ingredients for Cloud Computing

  1. Via the Internet
  2. Outsourced, shared infrastructure
  3. Scalable resources
  4. On demand
  5. Metered use
  6. Reporting, insight, and security

Why cloud has become inevitable

  1. Acceptance of Web-Enabled Technologies
  2. Economics of shared infrastructure
  3. Accelerating application time to market
  4. Security Improvements
  5. Greater efficiency and “Being Green”

Cloud Computing Enablers

  1. Virtualization (VMWare, Xen Server, Windows Server 2008) (below, built on top of each other)
  2. Infrastructure as a Service (Amazon Web Services, EMC2, Sun, HP, IBM, Savvis, Terremark) – enables this.
  3. Application Platform as a Service (force.com, Azure, AWS, Netsuite, Google App Engine)
  4. Software as a Service (salesforce.com, NetSuite, Taleo, OfficeLive, Autodesk, Concur, Bullhorn)

During Sagan’s sales pitch for Akamai, he claims (as he’s done for the past tne years), that the missing layer is optimization.

Top CIO Concerns with Cloud Computing (in order of concern)

  1. Security
  2. Performance
  3. Availability
  4. Integration
  5. Customization

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