Today's most talked about and perhaps the least understood buzzword, "Cloud Computing" is a metaphor for the delivery of computer power as a service via the Internet to anyone, anywhere who has access to a web browser on any kind of device. Clouds may be public, private or hybrid. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines a Cloud as "a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources… that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."***
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[Cloud Computing 101 provides a more detailed introduction to the Cloud for the uninitiated.]
bodHOST is part of a worldwide group of companies in North America, Europe and Asia that is providing Cloud Computing to large corporations, government organizations and the SMB sector. We provide a secure Cloud environment for hosting your SAP and other ERP applications. Certification by SAP is underway and will be concluded shortly.
A – All computer resources – such as, CPUs, memory, servers, hard disk storage, networking equipment, databases, firewall, anti-virus software, etc., and even applications software – are now available as a service and consumed like a utility (such as electricity). You use any or all of these only as and when required.
B – The computational power is highly scalable (up or down) – hence elastic.
C – There is nothing ever to buy. No CAPEX (Capital Expenditure). No hardware specs and prices to agonize over. All equipment is owned and operated by the Cloud Hosting provider.
D – Bye-bye obsolescence. Since you own nothing, you have to replace nothing and incur cost for nothing.
E – Cloud services are priced on the utility model. When your lights are off, your electricity meter comes to a halt. You may only for the wattage you consume. The same is true for Clouds. You will be billed per minute, and you pay only for services you consume.
F – All software hosted in the Cloud is accessible anytime, anywhere – as long as there is Internet connection. (Well, broadband Internet connection, actually – which is almost like saying "at least a 1000-cc car".)
G – Since access to the Cloud is via the Internet, any device that can access the Internet can access the Cloud. So in one fell swoop, your software becomes available on every desktop, laptop, net book and tablet in the world. Edit Excel Sheet on an Android tablet without any "Office look-alike" app. How cool is that!
H – In a Public Cloud, costs are optimized by hosting multiple tenants on the same cloud so that spare resources can be made available to whosoever needs it – thereby achieving economies of scale. Security is never compromised, and – in fact – in one sense enhanced, because resources are dynamically assigned to tenants, thereby making it virtually impossible for a human agent to deliberately walk up to your server and compromise it. Multi-tenancy reduces cost and does not compromise exclusive use of resources or security.
I – The leading concern of those surveyed about outsourcing some IT to a cloud service provider is generally security (by a wide margin of 66 percent). In a Cloud, security can actually improve due to centralization of data, and increased security-focused resources, etc., and we are especially vigilant about retaining control over certain sensitive data, the water tight security for stored kernels. Additionally, we are guard against attacks targeting server, platform, and data center infrastructure assets; hackers seeking to gain control of software assets; attacks targeting end points (notebooks, devices); attacks targeting networks (denial of services, distributed denial of service); and, root-kit attacks at the hypervisor or below on servers(BIOS and firmware)
J – The service is hosted somewhere on the Internet, with built-in redundancy for security, backup and recovery.
K – The resources are virtualized (i.e., not pegged to any particular hardware at any point in time), and the technology allows servers and storage devices to be shared and utilization be increased. As a result, applications can be easily migrated from one physical server to another.
L – The Cloud Hosting company owns all equipment. Only the application software is generally yours.
*** Mell and Grance, "The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing," National Institute of Standards and Technology, Information Technology Laboratory.
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