Cloud Computing Decisions in Real Enterprises

Cloud Computing Decisions in Real Enterprises

Manuel Pérez-Cota (Universidade de Vigo, Spain), Ramiro Gonçalves (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal) and Fernando Moreira (Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6539-2.ch082

Abstract

Money is one of the most important things for enterprises today. Computer Centers represent a large part of the total costs of enterprises, irrespective of their size. This chapter describes some (real) ways to convince enterprises to use Cloud computing in order to save money and obtain better returns from their computer (hard and soft) resources.
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1. Introduction

Enterprises have grown over the years and have increased their computer resources in line with their needs accordingly. The current economic crisis is deeply affecting people and enterprises, and consequently some of them have chosen to optimize their resources while others have opted to share resources with others.

The word “Cloud,” a collective term for a large number of developments and possibilities, is now in fashion after words such as “Grid” and “Virtualization.” Petri (2010) states that this is not an invention but more of a “practical innovation.” However, the term was first defined by Prof. Kenneth K. Chellapa in 1997 as “a computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing would be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits.” Wikipedia provides more details on how the name and use was defined: “Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet). The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts remote servers with a user's data, software and computation” (Wikipedia, 12/2012).

On the other hand, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology www.nist.gov) provides a clearer definition:

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models (NIST, 2011).

When computer experts in enterprises were asked what they thought about Cloud Computing, the answers varied from “this is a new paradigm” to “this is a mix between Grid and Virtualization.” Other answers were even more complex such as “this is when you are using infrastructures, platforms and applications that are not yours but they seem to be yours,” that is like the scenario of your new vision. Reality is in this case about professionals. What about ordinary people, where the idea of computing is “any complex device that contains a microprocessor,” and when you ask them about Cloud the answer normally is “everything is a Cloud nowadays, you never know where things are.” It clarifies what is happening with this new paradigm. Things may be clear, but they are not clear enough, so it is necessary to explain what is happening from within. Documents such as “The top 5 truths behind what the Cloud is not “ (CITRIX, 2012), can show, clearly, that our idea of computer people, for users and ordinary people, the term Cloud is far from clear.

This moves us to try to find out how people are using the Cloud nowadays, and as we can see in many documents (Infoworld (www.amazon.com, 2012) and others (the list today is probably longer)) the problem is, as we said in the previous paragraph, that definitions of Cloud are very different, and consequently how people use it is also very different. We define cloud as, “the use of services, platforms and applications using the net, taking all or some of them from the net.” Therefore, almost everybody who is using a smartphone, a tablet, a PC or any other device plugged into the net and using services or applications offered or provided (and of course their platforms) in using the net.

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