Although nobody seems to fully agree on the definition of cloud computing, both IT organizations that consume these services and the IT services companies that provide them are convinced that cloud computing will cut their costs.
Amazon earlier this week unveiled a new "free usage tier," available Monday, that opens the door to a year’s free use of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. New customers will be able to access a micro instance server, which includes 5 gigabytes (GB) of S3 storage, up to 30GB of data transfer per month and Elastic Load Balancing.
Virtualization is not absolutely necessary for cloud computing, but it does provide the kind of resource efficiencies and dynamic infrastructure that make the cloud worthwhile.
To date, though, most virtual platforms have been deployed to meet more immediate concerns, mainly server consolidation, rather than longer-term strategies involving the structural underpinnings of the IT industry.
But that may be changing as the tech community begins to filter just about everything it does through a cloudy lens. And it would seem that the most crucial area for fostering cloud environments is the virtual layer.
In an interview with ZDNet Asia, Ker Wing-Dar, Microsoft’s general manager of customer service and support in Asia-Pacific and greater China region, said his department plays a key role as "strategic differentiator" for the push.
Support is critical and can make or break a deal, said Ker, noting that enterprises feel more confident choosing a cloud service provider that is able to provide someone they can talk to when they have questions.
Companies have been advised to take a proactive approach to ensuring high data quality levels.
David Loshin, president of consultancy Knowledge Integrity, explained to the B-Eye Network website that there is a tendency for data quality efforts to be focused on dealing with previously-identified problem areas.
But he stated that this may not be the best approach and that the real challenge for data quality initiatives is to identify where future issues may crop up.
Your average Internet user leaves pieces of his or her life scattered all over the Web. Posts to social networks, comments on discussion boards, and reviews of products on Amazon are just a few ways that we leave our fingerprints on the Web as we use sites, fingerprints that could be used to collect a significant dossier on our habits as consumers, voters, parents, and — as an article in The Wall Street Journal recently revealed — patients.
Some of the world’s biggest companies are using their market clout to demand that computer equipment makers change the way they make their machines.
The 70 firms, which includes BMW, Shell and Marriott Hotels, said systems that do not work together are holding back the spread of cloud computing.
The companies have formed the Open Data Alliance Centre to push for unified standards for technology.
The businesses involved account for more than $50bn (£32bn) in IT spending.
"The old way just won’t work anymore," said Andrew Feig, an executive director at Swiss bank UBS.