The Rise of Cloud Computing

An overview of the transformation to Cloud/SaaS computing model.

www.moderro.com © 2008

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en was the last time you used a fax machine? A film camera? A vinyl record? Technologies evolve, they evolve constantly, and they evolve in spurts and spirals, often throwing out the old for the benefit of the new. The

phenomenon is also referred to as disruptive innovation (Clayton M. Christensen, 1995). Just like in the case of payphones being replaced by mobile phones, faxes by email, mainframes by personal computers, new disruptive technologies are often not as fast and don’t offer as many features at the start, but they offer a key advantage over the existing technology – anything from cost, to size, mobility, or convergence with other technology. Personal Computer technology was a disruptive technology back at the time of mainframes and expensive workstations, but with time it has gotten very complex, burdened by layer after layer of software designed to deal with compatibilities, threats, legacy, or bridging the gaps between various software platforms. Organizations today feel this burden by having to worry about installing and maintaining applications, supporting myriads of potential end users problems, managing servers, managing risks, while trying to keep up with the pace of innovation in the market. IT departments often have multi-year backlogs on things that matter most – providing business users with the tools they need to compete in the market. The trend that promises to break the vicious cycle and provide a computing platform where the benefits are clear and quick to realize, without the exorbitant expense of maintenance and deployment is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing 2

where the applications are hosted (maintained) by the application vendor themselves, allowing businesses to deploy software quickly without any artificial barriers, and leaving IT to provide value-added services to the businesses in recommending, evaluating, and configuring the business platforms.

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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The table below illustrates some of the benefits of web-centric computing in comparison to a standard PC software architecture across the myriad of considerations that come into play: ** PC Computer **
Manageability Managing a PC environment requires several levels of management and myriad of complex systems. Operating Systems have to be patched and managed, data and application rights have to be managed, backups have to be managed, data stores have to be managed, licenses have to be managed. This all adds up to tremendous overhead and opportunity for errors. Client-server applications promote individual contribution, with individuals working on their individual assignments. Collaboration using a PC is dependent on compatibility of the application versions and a common broker server (such as Sharepoint) to facilitate such collaboration. The collaboration are limited in scope and participation Traditional Client-Server PC infrastructure requires a heavy back-office investment. Servers, server OS’s, SQL servers, Directory Servers, Collaboration servers, File Servers, Intranet Servers, etc Client-server applications require client-side updates. The vendors have to go through a rigorous testing and release processes. The end-user organizations have to go through testing and release processes of their own. The average timeline between releases for “shrink-wrap” software is 2-3 years. 0 1

** SaaS/Cloud Computer **
Only application-level permissions have be managed in the SaaS model with appropriate hardware.

Productivity

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SaaS Computing stretches far beyond individual work, and enables real collaboration with multiple people working or having visibility to same set of documents. This collaborative nature of web applications opens great opportunities for furthering productivity.

Supporting Infrastructure

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1

SaaS don’t require internal server infrastructure, the server part is handled by the application providers.

Rate of Innovation

0

1

Web Applications don’t have the constraints that non-SaaS software titles face, they can and are released often. The releases are small and quick and bring the innovations at a much faster rate. The end-user organizations also do not need to get involved in testing and release processes, saving valuable IT resources.

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Data Portability

Compatibility

Flexibility

Repair and Recycling

Using the same application [data] on several different computers involves non-trivial synchronization. The synchronization often leaves much desired and is imprecise PC applications facilitate several people collaborating on a document by hoping that all the reviewers have the same version of the application or by resorting to “lowest common denominator” format that everyone can understand at the expense of producing bloated files and loosing the advanced capabilities of the program. PCs have long been a battleground between flexibility and control. While flexibility to install any application they like is great for the end user, it creates a nightmare situation for the IT department, who want to tighten up on security, licensing, and software problems. Repairing a PC because of failed power supply or broken hard disk drive is a frequent occurrence. Repair costs range from $150 to $1,200 at $150/hr rate PC disposal costs range from $85 to $136. IT organizations have to rely on 3rd parties to destroy the data Viruses and spyware install resident software on computers in order to tap into user’s data and proliferate. In order to protect from viruses and spyware, additional software must be installed and updated frequently Data Recovery costs range from $400 to $2,000, plus shipping. There are no guarantees License Management is a

0

1

o

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There’s no need for data synchronization with web-based applications – all data is persistent and belongs to the application, and can be accessed from any device. File compatibility problem does not exist in Software-as-a-Service environment as all the participants are working with the same version of the application and data is stored in the database rather than a file.

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SaaS Computing retain the benefits of flexibility allowing most web applications to run within confines of the browser platform, while preventing any local resident application from being installed, thus maintaining a great level of control.

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Repair and Disposal costs are much smaller in comparison. There’s no data to recover. Web Computers are disposable.

Viruses and Spyware

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Viruses and Spyware of thing of the past for SaaS Computing model. Using Internet Computers like Moderro XPack with read-only operating systems, no unauthorized software can be installed. There’s no data loss with SaaS as all the data is stored by the application provider who takes care of data integrity License management with Web

Data Loss

0

1

License Management

0

1

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Data Back-ups

Data Security

Document Versioning

serious issue for the IT department with the traditional PC infrastructure – one that requires management protocols and lots of tracking systems. IT is also exposed to the license terms breach if they allow enduser application installs. PC’s require data backup. Data backup is NOT trivial! Incremental backups are tricky and backing up laptops is intermittent. Traditional PC’s in a client-server model save data locally. This leads to the data being hacked, files stolen. Alternative solutions such as Citrix ICA help protect the data, but require costly infrastructure investment. Versioning documents is typically done by keeping copies around ad-hoc. Doing this bodes badly for backups and is imprecise at best. Distributed (shared) documents are not kept-up-to-date.

Computer is a non-issue as the licenses are managed by the application vendors directly.

0

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No backups required. The data is stored with the application and data integrity is preserved by the application provider. The data is stored online and is not represented by a file that can be compromised or stolen.

0

1

0

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Versioning is automatic with most document authoring solutions. Document sharing is simple, with the recipient always looking at the latest version of the document.

It’s easy to see from this data that SaaS/Cloudcomputing has a great future in the business world. Businesses are able to decrease their IT costs while gaining productivity and competitive advantages.

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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SaaS Applications Profiles
Office Suite
Office applications is one category that almost no business can live without. Email, Calendaring, Document Authoring, Spreadsheets, and Presentations have become the quintessential productivity tools in today’s office. Luckily, web versions of these applications have matured to the point of sophistication and feature richness that meets or exceeds their desktop counterparts.

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Strong Players: Zoho, Google

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Business Applications
Customer Relationships Management (CRM) systems, ERP, Billing, Databases, Business Process Management(BPM), and Situational Software (software designed by non-programmers) – are the types of business applications available as webbased applications-on-demand.

Strong Players: Salesforce.com, LongJump, Coghead Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing 9

Project Management and Collaboration
Project Management and Collaboration are particularly strong among SaaS offerings. With choices ranging from simplest to very sophisticated, any organization is likely to find a solution that fits its needs.

Strong Players: 37 Signals, Central Desktop, Liquid Planner, Jive, Zoho, Clarizen

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computer (End Point)
Efficiencies gained by replacing traditional client-server (thick client) model with the cloud computing one also open up an opportunity to significantly trim down the complexity on the client. Moderro XPack Internet Computer is designed specifically for running web applicationsin the most efficient manner. Solid state, space saving design together with an operating system built for and around web applications, and a capable internet management back-end set this product squarely in the center of web-computing experience.

Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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Moderro Technologies – www.Moderro.com -(800) 658-9602 | The Rise of Cloud Computing

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