Overview: a report for the CEO that explains

Overview:  Your company is interested in learning more about
cloud computing and the varying services offered. The head of the IT department
has handed you a list of cloud-based organizations—he doesn’t have time to put
together a report for the CEO that explains what cloud computing does and how
it might benefit the organization. That, of course, is why YOU got the list.

For each of the organizations on the
list, you are to report back on the following:

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1.     
What is the organization’s primary
cloud function—what advantages might the organization have over another
organization that provides the same product or service?

2.     
What type of cloud computing service
model is the organization using?

3.     
Does the organization provide any
type of cloud deployment model? If so, what is it and why might your
organization choose the company you are reporting about over another one?

4.     
What “promises” of a secure cloud
environment does the organization highlight? Are those considerations important
to your company? Why?

The list of organizations you were
given to evaluate contains the following:

1.     
Apple iCloud

2.     
Amazon Web Services

3.     
Google Docs

4.     
Windows Azure

5.     
Salesforce.com

 

Organization’s primary cloud
function

 

Google Cloud Functions
is a serverless execution environment for building and connecting cloud
services. Your Cloud Function is caused when an event being watched is excited.
Your code executes in a fully managed situation. There is no need to provide
any infrastructure or need not worry about managing any servers.

Cloud Functions are written
in many languages such as Javascript and execute in a Node.js v6.11.5
environment on Google Cloud Platform. We can run Cloud Function in any standard
Node.js runtime which makes both portability and local testing a breeze.

Cloud computing service model

Think of the cloud as a disk drive which
is owned by a company like Google or Apple, which stores all of the data files
in a different geographical location – typically at a server farm. The cloud which
makes it possible to access photos, videos or documents from any computer with
an Internet connection all over the cloud.

Apple’s iCloud uses beyond Infrastructure
as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service
(SaaS) trinity.

Many of us use cloud computing is
used in every day life, with sites like Facebook, Netflix or Gmail. Photos and
videos which are stored on Facebook servers, which can be retrieved from any
computer with an Internet connection. We can store documents, photos or videos
online with services like Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive or Amazon Cloud
Drive and many more.

Going to a step further, Apple’s
iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive actually synchronize the files between
multiple devices and the cloud. If Apple iCloud is enabled and when we take a
photo with your iPhone, then it will automatically show up on your iPad and
MacBook.

Recently, wired senior writer Mat
Honan reported that because of what was initially fraudulent phone calls,
several of his online accounts were breached, including his iCloud account.
Honan’s iPhone, iPad and MacBook were remotely wiped because the hack had
access to his iCloud account.

Recently Apple co-founder Steve
Wozniak expressed his doubts about cloud computing, by saying that “the
more we transfer everything into the web, into the cloud, the less we’re going
to have control over cloud or towards it.”

Soon after when Google launched
Google Drive, questions were raised over who owns the files uploaded to the Google
service. The reality is that users own their content, but Google can use it for
the purposes listed in their terms of service – like “Some of our Services
allow you to submit content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours forever.

When we upload or otherwise submit
content to our Services, we give Google as a worldwide license to use, host,
store the data, reproduce, modify out data, communicate, publish, publicly
perform the manipulations, publicly display and distribute such content to us
in the cloud. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose
of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.
This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a
business listing you have added to Google Maps).”

However, that doesn’t mean the
search engine giant will unconcerned use your photos and documents for
promotional purposes in the cloud. The simple truth is that we don’t know what
Google might do with our data.

Google unveiled Google Fiber,
broadband Internet which is 100 times faster than what we currently having
today. While it’s still being tested in Kansas City, it is a big step forward
for coming future. Faster the Internet speed means larger files can be stored
and downloaded from the cloud.

The future of cloud computing is
certainly exciting, but we are moving more of our lives online means we will inevitably
have to consider privacy, security, ownership and even energy consumption.

Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas):

Allows user to run any applications
they please on cloud hardware of their own choice. Existing applications can be
migrated from one company data center to another in order to reduce IT costs.
In today’s world servers can be virtual and physical. Physical are discrete
individual computers which are shared among various users called virtualization.
IaaS comes with 4 types of servers they are Private cloud: where specific
number of physical server are dedicated to one customer, dedicated hosting:
customer rents physical server on-demand, Hydrid hosting: mixture of physical
server and virtual server instance are rented on-demand. Finally we have cloud
hosting: customer rents virtual server instance on-demand and often on hourly
basis.

Platform as a Service (PaaS):

Allows users to create their own
cloud applications using supplier –specific tools and languages. Google has app
engine which enables anybody to develop run and maintain in their own web
applications on Google’s infrastructure, Microsoft also have PaaS services
called Azure which allows user to develop and run windows applications in
Microsoft region of cloud, Salesforce is also a big player in PaaS landscape with
offering called force.com. So Google app engine and force.com currently allow
built and to be hosted for free.

Software as a Service (SaaS):

It allows users to run the existing applications.
They are accessible from any computer. Facilitates collaborative working.

Types of cloud deployment model

The
cloud is as much more efficient approach for building IT services. As an
approach towards effective IT, cloud computing takes an advantage over virtualization
technologies to offer a wide array of cloud-powered services which can be
delivered through different deployment models.

In this article, we examine the
different types of deployment models for implementing cloud technology, namely:
public clouds, private clouds and hybrid clouds.

Each deployment model comes with its
own advantages and disadvantages which will impact any organization
considering an implementation of cloud services. Therefore, it is important to
be aware of the differences between them in order to decide whether to
implement one type of cloud deployment over another.

Public
Cloud

As the name Public Cloud refers to cloud computing
models where multiple customers are hosted within the same solution
(therefore public), although partitioned and
secured from each other, and are available and accessible for general use over
the internet.

Basically Public cloud services
include:

Online storage (like DropBox,
Google Drive, Apple iCloud, MS OneDrive)
SaaS applications (like
Salesforce.com, MS Office 365)
The majority of cloud services
available for purchase online.

Public clouds are often thought of
to be more B2C oriented as there are far more consumer-targeted public
cloud offerings than B2B. It takes some time before businesses would consider
public cloud offerings because of their inherently “shared” nature. However,
offerings such as salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365 are squarely
targeted to businesses and organizations with dozens to thousands of users.

The key takeaway here is that public
clouds are mostly represented by consumer services and business SaaS
applications and in spite of initial perceptions of being insufficiently
secure for business, have drawn substantial adoption by businesses of all
sizes, including large enterprise.

Although public cloud offerings
include much configurability and even custom development APIs or entire
platforms (like Force.com), they are less flexible than private clouds,
where you are able to select and control most aspects of the
solution.

Private
Cloud

Private clouds are essentially cloud
infrastructures operated by or for a single organization with no sharing of resources
with other organizations. This can be on-premise, within your own data center,
or off-premise (hosted elsewhere with exclusive hardware, network, etc.).
 The most common examples of a private cloud are VMware and Citrix
solutions.

Many of our customers use
Citrix and/or VMware in their data centers—they have a private cloud. They can
choose the kind of servers they want, software, options, security,
configurations, etc.

Private clouds can offer a
similar experience to some public cloud offerings, but differ significantly
when it comes to delivery and application technology, for example:

Public Cloud: your
company uses Office 365 web apps to gain access to the entire MS Office
Suite (e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.)
Private Cloud: you
install MS Office desktop apps on your Citrix server and make it available
to your users over the Internet

Both solutions give access to MS
Office apps to your users via the Internet. However, the methods and
technologies are very different:

Office
365 approach

Web browser apps (limited
features)
Limited-to-no integration with
other vendor’s applications, e.g. your accounting software or CRM
Requires only a web browser
Passes full data back and forth
Stores your files with
Microsoft

Citrix approach

Full native Windows apps
Natively supports any
manufacturer-provided integration
Requires a client (albeit
a thin client, supported by almost any client
device, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and more.)
Does not pass data back and forth. Works like remote control
software.
Stores your files anywhere on
your network (that’s connected to your Citrix server)

Private clouds offer far greater
control, flexibility and integration from your choice of line-of-business
applications all the way down to the operating system.

Private clouds require significant
investments in hardware, software and services if you intend to build from
scratch. However, there are companies that will build and host your private
cloud for you, allowing you to shift from large capital expenditures to
monthly service payments, which is commonly preferred nowadays (see hybrid
cloud below).

Private cloud deployments offer the
highest degree of security and control for the most stringent of requirements.
However, they are almost always substantially more costly than public clouds,
since no economies of scale exist between multiple clients.

Hybrid Cloud

The term “hybrid cloud” can be
confusing because it is commonly used in two contexts interchangeably:

Hybrid Cloud as a strategy—is when an organization utilizes both public and
private cloud deployments for independent solutions. For
example, an organization might use a public cloud service, such as Office
365 for email and collaboration, but also maintain a Citrix deployment in
their own data center to provide access to their line-of-business and
accounting applications.
Hybrid Cloud within a solution—this is when an organization implements a solution that
contains both public and private cloud components, such as hosting a
private VMware cloud deployment on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud service.

The larger the organization, the
greater the likelihood that both public and private clouds will be in use to
meet the diverse needs of multiple departments and budgets.

While the simplicity, ease of use
and value of public clouds are almost irresistible the reality
is that some solutions will simply require private cloud technology. In
these cases, a Hybrid Cloud solution may just be more attractive than
procuring additional hardware depending on your project parameters,
existing vendors, relationships and assets.

Utilizing a hardware-as-a-service
solution, such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Peak10 will help you reduce your
capital expenditures (CapEx) and transition to service payments (OpEx) if
your design parameters do not insist on dedicated hardware.

UTG helps you navigate through the clouds

No doubt, figuring out the optimal
cloud strategy can be.. well.. “cloudy”. Whether your needs are straightforward
or require research, planning and testing UTG will design the optimal solution
for you.

We don’t try to be all things to all
people. Instead, we aim to serve you better by sticking to what we know and
love—solutions—and humbly partnering with the very best cloud providers out
there for cloud hosting and hardware-as-a-service.

UTG will architect your entire
solution for you, and
Implement and maintain
everything for you under a single operating expense, including hardware,
software, services and support

3.      Google’s
entire strategy and approach to the cloud is based on the future, and not the
Internet as it is today. Google is betting that the world will have
low-cost, ubiquitous Internet access in the not-too-distant future,
including fiber connections in offices and homes and super-fast mobile
broadband in virtually every nook and cranny of the planet.

4.      It
is building its cloud for that world, and it’s hoping that by the time it has
its application stack refined and running like clockwork that broadband will be
everywhere. That’s absolutely necessary, since all of Google’s apps are
connection-dependent and all of the data is stored on Google’s servers in the
cloud. You’ve got to be online to take advantage of many of the best features,
like simultaneous editing of Google Docs where you can see your co-workers’
edits happening in real time.

5.      I
love Google’s optimism about the future of broadband, but it’s not going to
magically happen on its own solely based on free market forces. There
are too many places where it’s just not financially profitable to deploy high
speed access — and probably never will be. In order for Google’s vision to come
to light, there will need to be more competition in the big markets and much
stronger public-private partnerships in the smaller markets.

6.      Google
has started talking about making critical apps available offline, especially
for Chromebooks. The company has already taken a few baby steps in that
direction with Google Gears. However, the fact that
offline access is an afterthought and not an intrinsic component of Google’s
solution tells you where offline and local syncing rank on the company’s
priority list.

The Apple cloud

Apple’s approach is not to use the
cloud as the computer-in-the-sky the runs all the cool stuff. It doesn’t want
or need everything to happen in the cloud. Instead, it views the cloud as the
conductor of Grand Central Station who makes sure all of the trains run on time
and that they make it to the right destinations.

With iCloud, announced on Monday at
WWDC 2011, Apple uses the cloud to orchestrate data streams rather than control
them. This is the cloud as a central repository for apps, music, media,
documents, messages, photos, backups, settings, and more. A decade ago, both
Apple and Microsoft talked up idea of the Mac and the PC, respectively, as the
central hub of our digital life and work, with a variety of devices relying on
it to coordinate content. On Monday, Apple clearly stated that’s no longer the
case. For it, iCloud is now the hub.

“We are going to demote the PC
to just be a device,” Steve Jobs said.

In this way, Apple is taking an
approach unlike Google (which essentially mimics the old mainframe
approach). Instead, Apple is doing something similar to what the popular
startup Dropbox does. It is allowing users to
sync their personal data and media purchases from their computers and mobile
devices up to a personalized central repository. Then, that central repository
on the Internet syncs all of the data and media files back down to all of the
user’s devices, so that all of them have the same data. Users no longer have to
worry about constantly managing their files and music libraries in order to
keep them up-to-date across a bunch of different machines and devices – a
computer, a tablet, and a smartphone, for example.

Geeks, technophiles, and IT pros
tend to love this approach because they still control their own data and have
local copies of everything. However, syncing can also get a little complicated,
especially if you choose to not automatically sync all of your devices (to save
on performance and bandwidth). It remains to be seen whether mainstream users
and business professionals will grasp the syncing concept and easily make it
work.

Still, Apple’s approach is probably
more practical for the Internet as it exists today. But, in a world
with ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband, will syncing still matter in 5-10
years? That will depend on whether users prefer to have local copies of their
data for performance, security, and peace of mind.

Naturally, there have been heated
debates about Apple iCloud in social media since WWDC. The most poignant
comment I saw came from Lessien on
Twitter, who said, “In Apple’s vision, the cloud makes native apps better.
Others see the cloud as a substitute for native apps.”

Final analysis

All that said, let me try to boil
this down into two sentences that shouldn’t surprise you. For Google, the Web
is the center of the universe. For Apple, your device is the center of the
universe.

 

 

References:

1.     
What is cloud computing? Amazon, Google
Drive, iCloud, Dropbox explained Chenda Ngak –
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-cloud-computing-amazon-google-drive-icloud-dropbox-explained/