Cloudy is new Sunshine

"Cloudy" is new sunshine now.

Microsoft and IBM Cloud ads are already on TV. Most of the companies are trying to either build their clouds or trying to join other clouds out there. All major online websites including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Apple are already a part of cloud galaxy and more and more are being added every day.

So what is cloud computing?

Here are two introductory articles you may want to read:

What is role of Windows Azure and SQL Azure in Cloud?

Windows Azure is an operating system that supports cloud computing and SQL Azure is SQL Server database build to support cloud. You can find more about Windows Azure and SQL Azure here:

Why should I build or join a Cloud?

This is the most important question. Let's take a step back.

In a Software project development, there are 5 steps.

  • Gather Requirements
  • Analysis and Design
  • Build the Application
  • Test and Deploy
  • Maintenance

While first four phases of software development life cycle take most efforts initially but it is the last phase that lasts longer than others. A typical maintenance period of a project can go from 3 to 10 years. Before you can deploy an application, you must build a server (hardware) that can host your Web application. The maintenance phase includes deployment of an application to a production server, monitor it regularly, update software, update code versions and so on.

This is where the Cloud Computing comes in picture.  By joining a cloud, you do not need to worry about most of this. You do not need to install operating system, database and any other software accept your application and you do not need to update any other software. A company that provides you cloud hosting takes care of everything for you. Only you need to worry about is your application.

Other biggest advantage of cloud hosting is software licensing. You do not need to buy any software. For example, if you are building a Web application using ASP.NET and SQL Server as a backend database running on a Windows 2008 Server, you do not need to buy anything. You get a cloud hosting account with the software you need and software cost is involved in your monthly or annual cost. So your initial setup cost is nothing.

And the best part is you do not need to worry about maintaining the server or any other hardware upgrades.

So cloud computing is Software as a Service (SaaS) and the good part is, you only pay as much as you need it. Now if you are a large corporation, cloud may get costly for you but if you are a small to medium size business or an individual, cloud may be a way to go. Here is a list of a few articles on cloud and saving money.

In a recent poll, 43% of our members think, Cloud development is the future of software and services development and desktop development is slowly dying.


So going forward, I see a major impact on Network and System Administrator's roles and jobs. By migrating more and more applications to the cloud, small to medium size organizations will need less Systems Administrators but large corporations will be hiring more Systems and Network Administrators. If you are one of the network or systems guy and interested in getting your data center cloud ready, here is a good article: Building the Cloud-Ready Data Center Network « Data Center Knowledge 

Learn more about Cloud Computing and Windows Azure here.

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