Comparison Of the Cloud Computing Companies
Cloud computing is all set to bring the computing world to a disruptive halt. In fact it has already done so to a large extent. Business organizations now have more flexibility and they can concentrate more on their business rather than worrying about the information needs.
This is particularly true of online businesses. Cloud computing has various levels. You could either use the SAAS, PAAS or IAAS levels or a combination of them. All you need is a web browser with little or no setup. The three levels of cloud computing along with their cost structures have been mentioned below to enable you to get a better understanding and make a more informed decision.
SAAS: Software as a service is a model wherein an organization can directly use the applications which have been developed by the service provider. An example would be using Gmail instead of Lotus Notes for your organization. The benefits are numerous. You can scale up and down as much as you want and you don’t have to worry about the capital expenditures, development or maintenance costs.
Also it is not that the service providers here are trying the one size fits all approach. It is well known that IT companies provide solutions to their clients which are specific to their business needs. So they have broken the service into modules and which can be customized in no time. Hence you can use the software as a service and still have a unique application.
Regarding the costs, a lot of these applications are free which means that they are supported by advertising. This is generally in the case of consumer applications like Gmail, Facebook, Google Apps, and Google Maps etc. For business solutions like the ones provided by salesforce.com there maybe a subscription fee which is perfectly predictable on a periodic basis. Thus there are huge cost savings if your business application indeed fits the requirements that are offered by these modular applications which can be built to ones need.
PAAS: On the other hand there is platform as a service. This is to partly overcome the shortcoming of the SAAS model. In case your organization does not fit in the modular application and you want a personalized application, you can have your developers develop it on a PAAS platform.
The immediate advantage is that it immediately eliminates all the capital expenditures required. This is a huge advantage since these expenditures were a major deterrent to application development. Now if you want to write an application, all you need to worry about are the developers.
The pricing is also very flexible since all we need to do is to pay on a per user model. Thus the platform is actually transformed into a utility. Like you pay for your electricity when you turn on the button, similarly you will only be billed when you log on to the system. Thus it brings down costs drastically and also since the financial expenditure is less brings down the time required to build the application.
IAAS: To complete the equation we have the Infrastructure as a service model. Setting up physical infrastructure takes a lot of space and needs special facilities. All of these are basically a drain on the resources. Scalability becomes an issue and so does utilization of the existing assets.
Infrastructure sharing helps us to rent servers and even parts of a server which are broken down and created into virtual servers by a process called “virtualization”. Hence we can get all the capacity we need in no time and we can even scale back in no time. At the end of the day any business will be concerned about the service that is being provided, the infrastructure is just a mean used to reach the end. This therefore adds to productivity manifold.
As regards the cost, it is a pay as you go system where billing is done on the basis of:
- fraction of servers required
- software loaded on the servers
- amount of data hosted
- network traffic between servers
Thus it is possible for a small business to receive the services which only the bigger ones had an access to. The bigger ones are also benefited by significant cost reductions.
A Comparison Between Google, Amazon And GoGrid
Google Cloud Computing scores the upper hand with Saas as most of its applications are widely used and they earn enough from the advertisements that they receive. Even their business applications are more widely used. Gmail is a major provider of online business e-mail system and can also provide tools for migration from Lotus Notes or Microsoft outlook.
Amazon on the other hand has supremacy in the PAAS segment. The problem with Google Cloud Computing here is the fact that they provide the option of programming only in Python. Also in case you need to store data you have to use Google’s database. This is not necessarily a problem since Google has good database backend products and Python is also an easy language to work with. But the users that prefer more flexibility prefer Amazon cloud computing. GoGrid on the other hand has a better user interface than Amazon but at the same time it does not provide storage services. Thus anyone can provide you with a good solution if your needs match their services.
The IAAS space is also contested very fiercely at the moment. However it would not be wrong to say that Google is not pretty much a part of the equation. Amazon Cloud Computing is a player but there are other big players like Microsoft Azure which provide great solutions.
Choosing amongst the service providers is pretty much on a case to case basis. However knowing the capabilities that these service providers have will help you narrow down to the one which may be most beneficial to you faster. Cloud computing has opened a world of opportunity and you must be sure that you utilize it to the fullest extent to make your organization as productive, efficient and effective as it can be.