September 17, 2010 – Cloud computing is one of the oldest concepts that has now been made new and re-introduced into the world of nerds.
Capital Lifestyle had a chat with Microsoft for a more comprehensive feel so that even the technologically challenged can slap it like the back of their hand. Here goes:
“The Cloud”, as Microsoft’s General Manager for East as Southern Africa, Louis Otieno, fondly calls it, “has endless possibilities. It can even be called mind boggling when you think of all that it can help us accomplish.”
Divided into three main levels, the Cloud will be the ultimate solution for all remote content acquisition.
These levels are:
Private cloud – this is ideal for companies that want to be able to access their data from remote locations but on an internal basis. These include banks and other data-sensitive institutions.
The private cloud means that data is not stored on a client machine but on a server that is capable of deploying all the required resources at a minimal cost to the end user. It is very customer based, or customer centric if you will, and only be accessible from points that are exclusive, say on a private LAN inside a building or within an office. This works best for Government and its institutions.
Local Hosters – this on the other hand refers to scenarios where companies partner with local providers who will host a number of their services for them. This includes mail servers, file sharing servers and even the ftp servers of the entire company.
Very little infrastructure is required on the client’s side. This really cuts on costs while removing the need to have support teams cater for hardware related failures, since no important equipment is managed on-site. The main players in this section will be ISPs and other key service providers such as mobile phone service operators e.g. Safaricom.
Azure Platform – Microsoft’s Windows Azure Platform is a cloud platform offering that “provides a wide range of Internet services that can be consumed from both on-premises environments and the Internet” (though the platform itself is not made available for on-premises deployments). It is Microsoft’s first step into cloud computing following the launch of the Microsoft Online Services offering. In short, it’s Microsoft’s platform as a service. Microsoft created this runtime platform to make it easy to develop, create and market applications by allowing a user to design and upload their Apps online to be scrutinised and tested by others. This encourages a more refined and resilient product.
It largely benefits students and small-time developers who due to financial constraints cannot afford the intricacies of setting up personal web servers for distributing their products.