Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cloud Computing

I think everybody must have heard the word "CLOUD COMPUTING" now a days. So this blog is about little bit introduction about cloud computing and cloud computing platforms.

Wikipedia gives following definition of cloud computing.

"Cloud computing is internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid."

That's a really good definition. Now a days cloud computing is the Buzz. Everybody is talking about it. Legends like Microsoft has invested heavily in cloud computing. So many companies are entering in to cloud computing business. CIOs/CTOs of any company want to bring Cloud Computing to their business. They are exploring options available for cloud computing platform. After cloud computing two new words are introduced.

SaaS: Software as a Service
PaaS: Platform as a Service

So what is this all about? Lets explore it in details. First of all lets talk about Cloud Computing. Why its been introduced? What was wrong with earlier approach? If you consider scenario before cloud computing , you have one server available. You use it for almost all your computing need. But the problem was CPU idle time. When server is busy with some request. It can not pay attention to other request. Also CPU is also in idle mode. What if we can utilize CPU idle time for other computing needs. But how we can do it? Then something called Virtualization is introduced. Yes this is the technology upon which cloud computing is built. My physical CPU is only one while I have more than one Virtual CPUs on top of it. Which can use my physical CPU. Virtual CPUs use almost all the real CPU cycle. Real CPU will never be in ideal mode.

So I have some hardware + software combinations which boost up my server performance. This is what is Virtualization. This is what is cloud computing. There are some large data centers in which bunch of servers are there. In those servers virtulazation is used so that each server can act as more than one server. This is the Magic of cloud computing.

Now lets talk about Cloud computing platforms available in market. There are various platforms available in market for cloud computing, but I will discuss about only two platform that I know.

As a former Microsoft .Net developer (although I am still passionate about .Net), first platform comes in my mind is Microsoft Windows Azure

Microsoft Windows Azure:

Microsoft definition for Windows Azure: "
The Windows Azure platform is a flexible cloud–computing platform that lets you focus on solving business problems and addressing customer needs."

Microsoft has invested heavily in data centers for Azure. Windows Azure is the platform using which one can develop cloud based application. If you want to develop .Net based application on local machine, you need certain things like .Net Framework,Sql Server, Windows server etc. This all provided by Windows Azure Platform in slightly different manner through App fabric, Sql Azure.

So in short It’s a platform for running Windows applications and storing their data in the cloud.

Its designed in a way that developer can develop cloud based application using various .Net supported languages like C#,VB.Net.

I will not go in more details as lots of stuff are available for windows azure on internet. Let's discuss the second cloud computing platform.


Its a leading cloud platform now a days. Using it you can build your on demand internet application five time faster than any other app building platform. Its built on multi tenant architecture. It provides a very good interface to build business objects, and apps. Its service is composed of two main parts

1) appExchange Directory: market place to share your app
2) Force.com platform: This is the platform upon which applications are developed.

The language which is used to build the app is Apex Code. Force.com platform provides various features that makes easy to develop,maintain, publish and customize any app. Force.com platform have various features like multi tenancy that make its unique.

So this is the little bit introduction about cloud computing and cloud computing platforms. I will publish detailed blogs in future.

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