Cloud computing: commercial options
Cloud computing: commercial options

Cloud computing: commercial options

As promised, we’re back with the second part of the article on cloud computing.

In the first part we have discussed how cloud computing is seen by IT Professionals, why is there more than one type of cloud computing and, and what are these two nice words all about. In this chapter of the story we will try to figure out what are the options on the market, what are the main differences between them and most important – what are the advantages emphasized by the providers trying to cut their piece of pie from the market.

Before we go deep into this measurement game, let’s take a step back and make another split between the types of cloud computing. You can find cloud computing offered as:

  • software-as-a-service (SaaS) (sales web app for example)
  • infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) (storage and computing power with 2 clicks, through web interfaces)
  • platform-as-a-service (PaaS) (which offers online development tools and host web applications)

The first provider we will be looking at is IBM with its product IBM Smart Business Cloud, which is a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) cloud designed to offer enterprise-class virtual servers to meet all the needs of the customer’s business.

IBM Smart Business Cloud offers a web-based interface where users can very easily provision new machines, assign software packages to be installed and grant access rights to users or groups of users for specific actions.

If this service is bought for development and testing purposes then you should know that you will experience 50% reduction on the costs and time to provision and configure environments, and also eliminate the risk of faulty configurations by using standard configurations. You will find a system that will support your business in the Change Management and Release Management processes very easily.

Great features of this service are:

  • Licensing: You can bring your own O/S licenses into the IBM cloud.
  • Onboarding Services: At the activation of the account you will get a package with interactive presentations and demonstration of the web interface so the account administrators will know exactly what to do to complete their tasks.
  • Rational Development: Using a complete range of Rational products (Rational Asset Manager, Rational Build Force, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Team Concert) you can plan, develop and test much more easily and with outstanding results.
  • Secure Access: You can access your virtual machines from the IBM cloud trough SSH or SVNC connections using two-factor authentication method.
  • Connectivity: Existing environment can be connected to the IBM Cloud trough VPN solutions, so you can leverage the advantages that each environment has.
  • Demarcation: It is very easy to create on the Cloud a totally different test environment, on which new products can be tested and see how is affecting the machines (environment) without concerning that something goes wrong on the production side.
  • Flexibility: Once you will start using the Cloud you will find at IBM a wide set of tools (for automations, monitor, alerts, collaboration) that will make your life easier than expected.

How much?

The cost of IBM Smart Business Cloud is directly proportional with the capacity reserved, complexity required, the time used, and the software licenses used – they also have a pay-per-software-usage charge model.

Along with the computing services, support services can be purchased, and so will reduce the time of response in case something is not going as expected.

You can read more about IBM cloud offerings on the official website. Expect the third part of the cloud computing series next week, when we shall discuss about some other commercially available options. Feel free to comment or suggest other options on the market.

Till next time, keep your head out of the clouds, but your mind at them! 🙂