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Services that would be good for the cloud?

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Services that would be good for the cloud?

jgreenebcg
Any thoughts on what are some information-technology services that are good candidates for the cloud?

Trying to break down my understanding of cloud computing. I have a grasp on the personal aspect of the cloud, trying to get into the business side of it.
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    robo_dev

    At a high level, a cloud solution is a third-party hosted application, which has it's pros and cons. Cloud, meaning SaaS (software as a service) such as Salesforce.com. can be a way for a company with few IT resources to run some very powerful apps.

    In an enterprise with highly-secure, high performance systems (that are paid for) the cost-benefit may not be there. It does not make sense to pay someone to host the app, and then depend on their processes and controls, while at the mercy of the speed of the Internet connection.

    Cloud just means you're paying somebody else to run the application. For a small business this can be good thing, however it does make the company network and Internet connection more mission-critical.

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    Deadly Ernest

    much Internet based. One example would be a real estate sales business where you have all the listings on the Internet and the sales staff can carry around an ultra-book or a string tablet with a USB of the corporate documents. They can show clients the potential houses while in the field and also complete the paperwork. Naturally a single file server will be required in the office for the final document copies, but for the majority of the work, all the preliminary stuff, you free up the staff to stay in the field almost the whole day. This can also save on office space, but will increase Internet usage costs and probably need to have something like Libre Office on the field computers or an on-line office package.

    I can also see a cloud service being good for a delivery service, tablets for signatures etc too.

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    gechurch

    The difference between the cloud and local servers are:
    * Availability - you must have an Internet connection to connect out to the cloud
    * Speed - connecting over the Internet is slower than connecting locally
    * Responsibility - you need local support for your own servers. In the cloud, someone else takes care of this for you. This is a benefit in terms of management, but there are lots of issues like "How do I know if backups are really happening?", "How good is their security?", "What happens when there is an outage?"

    (Note that some of these issues can be avoided by local cache servers etc).

    So what services apply well to the above? Email is an obvious one (you already have a reliance on the Internet for it, and the lag will not be noticable). Online backup is another one many companies are starting to look at. Any system that can sit fairly standalone from the rest of your infrastructure is also a candidate. There are plenty of job-tracking, billing, quoting etc etc systems in the cloud. Most of them are aimed at small businesses. As you get bigger a) you are more likely to need these systems to integrate with other systems you already have set up internally and b) your concerns about protection of data tend to increase.

    Another idea that's gaining traction is to put a lot of your infrastructure in the cloud. Having a file server in the cloud and local clients is a bad idea because it will be so slow to download files (ignoring caching options). But if you put your file server in the cloud, and house a terminal server in the same datacentre(s) then that can work well. Your users RDP in to the terminal server, and can then talk to the file server at full LAN speed.

  • +
    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    At a high level, a cloud solution is a third-party hosted application, which has it's pros and cons. Cloud, meaning SaaS (software as a service) such as Salesforce.com. can be a way for a company with few IT resources to run some very powerful apps.

    In an enterprise with highly-secure, high performance systems (that are paid for) the cost-benefit may not be there. It does not make sense to pay someone to host the app, and then depend on their processes and controls, while at the mercy of the speed of the Internet connection.

    Cloud just means you're paying somebody else to run the application. For a small business this can be good thing, however it does make the company network and Internet connection more mission-critical.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    much Internet based. One example would be a real estate sales business where you have all the listings on the Internet and the sales staff can carry around an ultra-book or a string tablet with a USB of the corporate documents. They can show clients the potential houses while in the field and also complete the paperwork. Naturally a single file server will be required in the office for the final document copies, but for the majority of the work, all the preliminary stuff, you free up the staff to stay in the field almost the whole day. This can also save on office space, but will increase Internet usage costs and probably need to have something like Libre Office on the field computers or an on-line office package.

    I can also see a cloud service being good for a delivery service, tablets for signatures etc too.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    The difference between the cloud and local servers are:
    * Availability - you must have an Internet connection to connect out to the cloud
    * Speed - connecting over the Internet is slower than connecting locally
    * Responsibility - you need local support for your own servers. In the cloud, someone else takes care of this for you. This is a benefit in terms of management, but there are lots of issues like "How do I know if backups are really happening?", "How good is their security?", "What happens when there is an outage?"

    (Note that some of these issues can be avoided by local cache servers etc).

    So what services apply well to the above? Email is an obvious one (you already have a reliance on the Internet for it, and the lag will not be noticable). Online backup is another one many companies are starting to look at. Any system that can sit fairly standalone from the rest of your infrastructure is also a candidate. There are plenty of job-tracking, billing, quoting etc etc systems in the cloud. Most of them are aimed at small businesses. As you get bigger a) you are more likely to need these systems to integrate with other systems you already have set up internally and b) your concerns about protection of data tend to increase.

    Another idea that's gaining traction is to put a lot of your infrastructure in the cloud. Having a file server in the cloud and local clients is a bad idea because it will be so slow to download files (ignoring caching options). But if you put your file server in the cloud, and house a terminal server in the same datacentre(s) then that can work well. Your users RDP in to the terminal server, and can then talk to the file server at full LAN speed.