Fighting Above Your Weight Class Through Cloud Computing
By Sourya Biswas of CloudTweaks
Tuesday, December, 21th, 2010 – Imagine the following scenario. You, weighing a mere 150 pounds and an armchair fighter, are suddenly challenged to a boxing match with a 250 pound professional boxer with ham- sized fists. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t consider even stepping into the ring. However, you have a trump card – a magic glove that multiplies the force of your punch tenfold. Emboldened by this amazing contraption, you confidently step into the ring, confident in the belief that you stand more than a fair chance of knocking your opponent out. In other words, this magic glove enables you to fight above your weight class.
In the field of enterprise software, cloud computing is your magic glove. With it, you can compete with the big boys even if you are a small or medium-sized business. Before the advent of cloud computing, you would have had to invest in millions of dollars of expensive enterprise software to have the operational capability to compete – not a viable alternative for smaller businesses on limited Information Technology budgets. But with cloud computing, you can obtain the same capabilities as your bigger competitors by buying access to software, instead of the software itself.
That is why Tim O’Brien, senior director of platform strategy at Microsoft, described cloud computing as celebrating “the [ability] to fight above your weight class.” He also cited some examples where smaller companies can better serve their workloads by “leveraging the cloud.” He mentioned the “Oprah Effect” where a mention of a company by the famous talk-show host produces a temporary surge in its popularity and crashes its website. Smaller companies with minimum hosting resources are especially vulnerable. O’Brien believes that cloud computing can prevent such an occurrence.
“Another example is companies that crunch massive numbers. You may need 5,000 virtual machines for three hours and then turn them off for a week. We see that in financial services industries and scientific communities that might need to visualize a strand of DNA,” O’Brien said.
However, he did advise caution in dealing with concerns of cloud computing.
Edwin Yuen, senior product manager in the Windows Enterprise Management division for System Center Virtual Machine Manager, makes a convincing case for cloud computing for businesses in his blog -
“Cloud computing is really about delivering IT as a service, the idea of managing and delivering applications and services for business value and impact, as opposed to focusing on where those applications and services run or what level they run on. What it means is that cloud computing gives companies the capability to be more flexible, more agile, in meeting the needs of the business. This is because the cloud removes the traditional limitations and boundaries associated with allocating or moving services.”
Since you only pay for what you use and you only use what you need, cloud computing saves a lot of money for small and medium-sized businesses while delivering equivalent value as expensive enterprise software. Therefore, powered by the cloud, you are ready to play, or fight, with the big boys!