Cloud computing benefits

In order to benefit the most from cloud computing, developers must be able to refactor their applications so that they can best use the architectural and deployment paradigms that cloud computing supports. The benefits of deploying applications using cloud computing include reducing run time and response time, minimizing the risk of deploying physical infrastructure, lowering the cost of entry, and increasing the pace of innovation.

Reduce run time and response time
For applications that use the cloud essentially for running batch jobs, cloud computing makes it straightforward to use 1000 servers to accomplish a task in 1/1000 the time that a single server would require. The New York Times example cited previously is the perfect example of what is essentially a batch job whose run time was shortened considerably using the cloud.

For applications that need to offer good response time to their customers, refactoring applications so that any CPU-intensive tasks are farmed out to ‘worker’ virtual machines can help to optimize response time while scaling on demand to meet customer demands. The Animoto application cited previously is a good example of how the cloud can be used to scale applications and maintain quality of service levels.

Minimize infrastructure risk
IT organizations can use the cloud to reduce the risk inherent in purchasing physical servers. Will a new application be successful? If so, how many servers are needed and can they be deployed as quickly as the workload increases? If not, will a large investment in servers go to waste? If the application’s success is short-lived, will the IT organization invest in a large amount of infrastructure that is idle most of the time?

When pushing an application out to the cloud, scalability and the risk of purchasing too much or too little infrastructure becomes the cloud provider’s issue. In a growing number of cases, the cloud provider has such a massive amount of infrastructure that it can absorb the growth and workload spikes of individual customers, reducing the financial risk they face.

Another way in which cloud computing minimizes infrastructure risk is by enabling surge computing, where an enterprise datacenter (perhaps one that implements a private cloud) augments its ability to handle workload spikes by a design that allows it to send overflow work to a public cloud. Application lifecycle management can be handled better in an environment where resources are no longer scarce, and where resources can be better matched to immediate needs, and at lower cost.

Lower cost of entry
There are a number of attributes of cloud computing that help to reduce the cost to enter new markets:

• Because infrastructure is rented, not purchased, the cost is controlled, and the capital investment can be zero. In addition to the lower costs of purchasing compute cycles and storage “by the sip,” the massive scale of cloud providers helps to minimize cost, helping to further reduce the cost of entry.

• Applications are developed more by assembly than programming. This rapid application development is the norm, helping to reduce the time to market, potentially giving organizations deploying applications in a cloud environment a head start against the competition.

Increased pace of innovation
Cloud computing can help to increase the pace of innovation. The low cost of entry to new markets helps to level the playing field, allowing start-up companies to deploy new products quickly and at low cost. This allows small companies to compete more effectively with traditional organizations whose deployment process in enterprise datacenters can be significantly longer. Increased competition helps to increase the pace of innovation — and with many innovations being realized through the use of open source software, the entire industry serves to benefit from the increased pace of innovation that cloud computing promotes.

Source of Information : Introduction to Cloud Computing architecture White Paper 1st Edition, June 2009


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