PC owners have complained loudly and often about the amount of maintenance they have to perform on their machines – and a never-ending stream of Spyware cleaners, registry cleaners, and Antivirus checkers are downloaded and scheduled constantly. This nonproductive activity has spawned two new market directions – cloud computing where PC applications live in and are maintained at a central location “in the cloud”, and the popularity of the Apple laptop which needs no such maintenance.
Another driver for the popularity of cloud computing is the incredible success of Salesforce.com – which was one of the very first cloud or SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. Salesforce.com is an application that allows enterprises to store key customer information on the Salesforce servers (cloud) – making this information accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Organizations no longer had to maintain these databases or servers, paying only a monthly per-seat fee for liberation from these onerous tasks.
Now, many new applications are being proposed for the cloud that range from media sharing to PC maintenance to security protocols. As the “cloud” is really a data center, this new trend has made the design and creation of data centers a hot topic as well.
Cloud computing allows users of these services or applications to have the benefits they bring with little or no Capex spending, which is significant in today’s economy. SaaS companies also have a recurring revenue stream instead of a one time expenditure, so everyone benefits from this architecture – which is directly analogous to how we use and pay for utilities today.
The resource sharing central to this model is also more efficient than having applications resident on individual PCs or workstations, and may provide some energy savings benefit as well.
Cloud computing does mean that data center rollouts will increase in number, and design requirements for data centers will be more critical. Make sure you choose only data installation experts that are poised for the challenge!
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