Week 7

Today in this weeks blog I will discuss cloud computing. I will look at what cloud computing is and what it entails for a user. I will describe different aspects of ‘cloud computing.’

  • What is meant by cloud computing 
  • Impact of cloud computing in e-commerce 
  • Advantages of cloud computing 
  • Disadvantages of cloud computing

Below I will discuss the four above bullet points and define each one and how it is relevant and important today. The blog I will write will involve will looking up and finding out exactly how it is important and what impacts it could have on society.

Significant innovations in virtualisation and distributed computing as well as improved access to high-speed internet have accelerated interest in cloud computing,

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. It is Internet-based development and use of computer technology. Cloud computing also includes applications that you might develop that are hosted outside your own network. The name comes from the cloud symbol that is often used to represent the Internet in flow charts and diagrams. It is a paradigm shift whereby details are abstracted from the users who no longer need knowledge over the technology infrastructure in the ‘cloud.’

 The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the internet based on how the internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and is an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it conceals. http://www.wikipedia.org says how typical cloud computing services provide common business applications online that are accessed forma web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

Cloud computing customers generally do not own the physical infrastructure, instead avoiding capital expenditure by renting usage from third-party provider. Many cloud computing offerings employ the utility computing model, which is analogous to how traditional utility services are consumed.

A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by minute or the hour, it is elastic, a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time, and the service is fully managed by the provider.

A cloud can be both public and private.

  • A Public cloud sells services to anyone on the internet. It describes cloud computing in the traditional mainstream sense, whereby resources are dynamically provisioned on a self-service basis over the internet.
  • Private cloud is a proprietary network or a data centre that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. While analyst’s predicted that private cloud networks would be the future of corporate IT there is still some uncertainty.

But whether the cloud is private or public, the goal of the cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

The services of Cloud computing can be divided into three categories

  1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS); like Amazon Web Services provides virtual server instances with unique IP addresses and blocks of storage on demand.
  2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS); in the cloud is defined as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the providers infrastructure.
  3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS); the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through front end portal.

The image below shows the growth of cloud computing over the past number of years. The image was taking from google images.


Impact on E-commerce

What leads many people to believe that e-commerce will be engulfed by the cloud computing storm are the cost benefits it has to offer. The cost of cloud computing are based on consumption there is no software, hardware or infrastructure to buy and in most cases you simply pay for what you use. In a traditional It model you would need to invest in a variety of components to handle your peak activity, with cloud you only pay for the processing power, storage and bandwidth you need meaning you don’t pay for the times your business is idle.

Some business analysts predict that at least 90% of e-commerce businesses will be using some form of cloud computing in the next five years. They believe tat e-commerce side of business has been moving towards cloud for years.

E-commerce businesses have been linked with cloud computing for years and now with it having cost benefits most businesses in the e-commerce side of things will offload infrastructure, development and software to the cloud.


Below I will give a description of some of the advantages that comes with cloud computing. The benefits provide a win-win situation for both provider and customer.

  1. One of the advantages is that both small and medium-sized businesses can instantly obtain the benefits of the enormous infrastructure without having to implement it directly.
  2. There is a reduced cost; cloud technology is paid incrementally, saving organisations money. It acts as a low-cost alternative to access technology, for example like electricity you pay for what you use and pay until you use it. It enables companies to save money on important business activities.
  3. There is an increased storage; organisations have the ability to store more data than on a private computer system.
  4. Highly automated as IT personnel do not need to worry about having to update software.
  5. Optimum utilisation and dispersion of cost as while incorporating IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud computing brings economies of costs and resources.
  6. Flexibility as cloud computing offers much more flexibility than other computing methods.
  7. There is also a greater independence and remote access since the infrastructure is maintained by an intermediary and accessed by customers by way of internet using a web browser, this has simplified the idea of offshore software development.
  8. More Mobility as employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desk or office.
  9. It also allows IT to shift focus so that you are no longer worrying about constant server updates and other computing issues. Free to concentrate on innovation.
  10. Reliable as it improves through the use of multiple redundant sites which make cloud computing suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery.
  11. Security improves due to the centralisation of data, increased security-focused resources.


Although there are many advantages of cloud computing business analysts have stated that there are still many problems with it.

  1. Relies totally on network connections, if the network goes down then you’re done until the computer is back up, or if the network is bogged up then everything will be slower.
  2. Doesn’t use a hard drive, while it also can be a benefit it is also a negative as some applications might require a hard drive attached to the computer.
  3. Changes in applications happen without your knowledge or consent, your data is not directly in your hands but in the hands of a third-party.
  4. You are dependant on your internet connection which could be a problem if connection fails and could be a problem for mission critical applications. When your offline cloud computing simply doesn’t work
  5. Doesn’t work with low-speed connections, if you have a low-speed connection it may take a long time just to get from page to page in a document and would not be beneficial to you.
  6. Although even on a fast connection it may be slow trying to access a similar software program on your desktop.
  7. Stored data might not be secure; with cloud computing all your data is stored on the cloud.
  8. Stored data can be lost as well, data stored on the cloud is unusually safe but if your data goes missing you have no physical or local backup.

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