Saturday, May 14, 2011

An introduction to Cloud computing


You might have heard of this new name floating around, but there a lot of different thoughts in various people about what the hell this 'cloud computing' is? I tried to collect some content to make it easy for you to understand it a little better. When I heard this for first time, even I was not able to map this name to its real meaning. Let us discuss it further, if you have any questions... please feel free to contact me.

Buying computer systems for everyone isn't an ultimate task, one also has to purchase software or software licenses to give self/users the tools they require. It's so stressful that you to spend your hard earned money at every step of computer usage. In a cloud computing system, there's a significant burden share. Local computers no longer have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the user's side decrease. The only thing the user's computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system's interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud's network takes care of the rest.

Industry giants like; AmazonWebServices, Rackspace.com, Microsoft, Google, and 1&1 are already started providing this platform to end-users like us for hosting our web applications to serve as service. There's a good chance you've already used some form of cloud computing. If you have an e-mail account with a Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, then you've had some experience with cloud computing. Instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you log in to a Web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account doesn't exist on your computer -- it's on the service's computer cloud.

When talking about a cloud computing system, it's helpful to divide it into two sections: the front end and the back end. They connect to each other through a network, usually the Internet. The front end is the side the computer user, or client, sees. The back end is the "cloud" section of the system.

The front end includes the client's computer (or computer network) and the application required to access the cloud computing system. Not all cloud computing systems have the same user interface. Services like Web-based e-mail programs leverage existing Web browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Other systems have unique applications that provide network access to clients.

On the back end of the system are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the "cloud" of computing services. In theory, a cloud computing system could include practically any computer program you can imagine, from data processing to video games. Usually, each application will have its own dedicated server.

The applications of cloud computing are practically limitless. With the right middleware, a cloud computing system could execute all the programs a normal computer could run. Potentially, everything from generic word processing software to customized computer programs designed for a specific company could work on a cloud computing system.

Useful links for more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/what-cloud-computing-really-means-031
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing.htm
http://www.wikinvest.com/concept/Cloud_Computing

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Desktop giant Microsoft acquired internet voice communication king Skype

Today on 10-May-2011, Microsoft and Skype announced an agreement according to which Microsoft will buy and acquire Skype for $8.5 millions. Google was the second and only bidder in buying Skype, but latter quits before discussing money matters.

Microsoft has been proven a desktop giant with its' smashing tool MS-Office and WindowsOS, with a few other enterprise products, where Skype is having entirely a different business line of internet communication. This is really an interesting acquisition to see if Microsoft can take Skype's vision to the next level, or Skype will become a paid service like any other service being offered by the desktop giant.

Earlier there has been rumors that Apple is showing intent to acquire and Skype, that too will be a killer acquisition for the free users community of Skype. It has 663 million total users, most of whom are active chatters over callers. Microsoft is planning to raise funding on this name thru IPO this year, per Bloomberg.

It appears to me that Microsoft is now trying to give competition, by integrating Skype services with Windows Mobile and Desktop applications, against Apple's FaceTime and Google's GTalk.

Still, it seems to be an interesting move to watch how, and where, two different lines meet their business visions and change the market trends and user habits.

Official page: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2011/may11/05-10CorpNewsPR.mspx