By Terry Pullin
Gone are the days of cloud computing only being delivered by a provider as a hosted service. Cloud computing is often defined as “the delivery of IT over the internet”, in reality this is not true.
Though hosting providers are embracing cloud computing the underlying technology to deliver services in this way, the reality is cloud computing is just the software that enables this.
A range of cloud enablement (aka cloud orchestration) software solutions are available in the market which provide the key cloud computing benefits to businesses that cannot move their IT to a hosted environment.
To start to understand what this software achieves it is important to know the difference between cloud vs virtualisation.
Virtualisation alone is NOT cloud computing. Virtualisation is often a key component to a cloud computing platform but is not the finished product. Virtualisation technology pools hardware resources from multiple usually underutilised hardware devices and makes the resources available as a single pool from which virtual servers draw their requirements.
Cloud computing is a layer above virtualisation which allows many additional features and benefits for example, hybrid computing environments which use a combination of physical & virtual server farms, multiple hypervisor control meaning you can choose to use different virtualisation technologies for different servers, simplified management in that you can manage these multiple infrastructures from one control panel, automation of many IT tasks, and ease of provisioning.
As aforementioned hosting providers who have re-invented themselves as “cloud” hosting providers use this software alongside their virtualisation technology. The reason for this is simple, to control costs and make their services competitive.
Many of their cost savings are from the automation and ease of management of cloud computing rather than virtualisation. They also make additional profits by having the ability to quickly deploy new servers and services through automation of those workflows.
Now many businesses outside of the IT industry are using this software to make their own infrastructures more efficient and less costly.
Though the ability to deploy cloud computing across internal infrastructure has been reasonably hidden to mid-market and enterprise businesses as the focus has been on supplying the ever growing public cloud market many non-IT industry businesses are now adopting this technology in-house and numerous established software providers are fulfilling the requirements.
The cloud computing model has received so much interest because of its claims to reduce cost and simplify IT, however uptake in businesses that are either to large or for whom data security is essential has been slower than expected because the options have been to move data a server processes to a hosting providers infrastructure.
With a private cloud in-house businesses are now able to realise the benefits of cloud computing on their own infrastructure eliminating the risks associated with the hosted model.
For more information on how Backbone Connect are deploying cloud computing to our customers why not start at our website www.backboneconnect.co.uk
About the author: Terry Pullin is Head of Cloud enablement services and is fast becoming one of the most established cloud thought leaders in the UK receiving regular requests to speak at industry events regarding cloud computing, why not follow him on twitter for his personal insight on the technology.