Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Understanding Cloud Computing - 2

Remember the analogy I presented to you in my last post in the series? About the cloud being akin to a giant computer. We also talked about the 3 layers of this computer. What was interesting was the fact that each of them had the "as a Service" suffix. What does this mean and what are its implications. 

Extending out giant computer analogy a little further, it is certain that such a giant computer is not for any individual or institution's use alone. Rather it is a computer that can be used by everybody who has a need for the same. Theoretically, the computer is so huge that every body could make use of it at different points of time or at the same time. While somebody might be needing just a few GB of hard disk space on this computer and some processing power, another team might be thinking of requesting several TB of space and lots of RAM and some specific applications. As each and every individual/team requests these units from the computer, these are allocated almost in real time to these individuals. Once they are done using the computer for their use, they relinquish the requested resource units that get added to the main pool for somebody else to take advantage of them. Hence the giant computer's resources are available on demand as a service. Just like how a taxi is available as a service for you when you need to get from one point to another or your when your own car has broken down. 

All three layers of the cloud, the infrastructure layer, the platform layer and the software layer are available as a service for its consumers. Hence  the suffix "as a service".

In our next post in this series, lets look at the Infrastructure layer in detail and understand its intricacies

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