Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We here at the ninjacloud believe in the inexorable progress toward Cloud Computing.

In the early years of the industrial revolution individual factories produced their own power (think of the textile mills situated on rivers). Only as industrialization spread, and technology evolved, did power generation become its own industry. The centralized production and distribution of power resulted in factories no longer needing to maintain their own power generation, thus freeing up capital for product specific development. A similar model to that of the early industrial years now prevails in IT.

Up to this point large companies have relied on in-house servers and technology to power their IT needs.  This is slowly changing. The benefit of outsourcing IT needs can be tremendously beneficial for large companies. Creating a uniform, easily updatable platform across all departments and offices reduces the inefficiencies inherent in having to update software, computer by computer. Storage, as well, has benefits. Relying on one’s own servers requires a company to invest for peak usage so that a system-wide slowdown never occurs; resulting in over capacity for all but a small portion of time. Using cloud services negates both of these problems and allows firms to focus more of their operating budgets on core business.

Where the story is different from those early industrial years is where cloud computing is most actively being implemented. Though the United States leads the cloud computing phenomenon in terms of providers, US corporations are not implementing at the same pace as their Latin American and Asian competitors. This is, at its roots, an unsurprising reaction. Most big US corporations who rely on in-house servers and computing have already invested in such things. Latin America and large parts of Asia are jumping ahead, skipping the step where in-house computing is necessary, and moving straight to a more forward looking, and efficient model. The US and Europe, the two stalwarts, in order to remain competitive will inevitably follow suit.
When looking at big companies that are presently using cloud computing to great effect, we find many such examples in the developing world. Of worthy mention are those already described here: http://www.cio.in/find/case_study.

Cloud computing is undoubtedly what will replace the in-house computing requirements that have existed up until now. Much like the water wheel was relegated to quaint farms and irrelevant uselessness, so too will go the need of large companies maintaining proprietary computing. The evolution will not be instantaneous. The companies that haven’t already invested, those whose costs are not yet sunk, will lead the transition. But as inexorable as the transition was from individual factory power production to on-grid power purchasing, computing will inevitably follow a similar path.

Even in the developed world we are starting to see the signs. The most notable example in Europe is in the confluence of cloud providers and the scientific community. “During a two-year pilot phase, Helix Nebula will be deployed and tested based on three flagship projects. They are the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) processing of data from the international ATLAS experiment, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s (EMBL) simplifying of the analysis of large genomes and ESA’s Earth observation research platform. http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM5725Y1ZG_index_0.html . What does this all mean; who knows? It is obvious though that the sheer size of the projects will necessitate the transference of huge amounts of data. Proprietary software could be created, but for a two year window it is far more efficient to outsource to cloud computing firms. With Europe following behind in cloud computing integration, this could be a transformative event on the continent.