If you are one of those who nod sagely and declare that the cloud is evolution and not revolution–you are right, but not completely right! While cloud computing features are evolving and gaining definition on stage, the real revolution is in the pricing structures that are emerging backstage, unnoticed and uncelebrated.
The driver behind the revolution is “larger volumes at lower costs”. The catalyst is the increasing reliability, scalability, reach-ability and high availability of Internet applications. The focus is on delivering Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) to the budget strapped user—the individual or the small and medium enterprise or the large enterprise seeking to lower costs for profitability.
How does the cloud achieve larger volumes at lower costs? Most costs associated with backup and storage is directly attributable to costs of hardware and software. Storage needs burgeon with every passing minute and existing infrastructure is quickly gobbled up by increasing data volumes. Tiered storage does not resolve the problem as infrastructure scale-up-demands become incessant within the enterprise. Capital investment restrictions throttle scale-up and compromises on data availability become inevitable.
Cloud backup and storage breaks the vicious cycle. Enterprises now sign up for ‘storage’ as a utility. They share hardware and software with countless other similarly placed enterprises creating economies of scale. The resultant cost savings get passed back to them reducing the overall costs of computing. It is for this reason that the cloud storage has been described as a process of micro outsourcing. The cloud runs multi-million dollar data centres using a fine grained, incremental approach. Thousands of companies across the globe can quickly tap into common resources and obtain expertise/support for complicated operations.
The process of abstracting hardware and software to the cloud-vendor-data-centre is infinite scalability on demand, higher reliability and availability of information, automatic deployment disaster recovery protocols, utility based computing with pay as you go pricing and reduction in data maintenance costs with no fresh financial outlays! It is win-win all the way! Enterprises do not have to compromise on the quality, security or availability of data and can connect their diverse locations “loosely” using the central data repository as the connecting link at no additional cost.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the pricing models that emerges with the new computing paradigm are revolutionary, completely affordable and attractive to everyone. It is a subtle revolution that cannot be ignored.