“There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion.” That was the analogy used by Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the United States Government to depict the use of cloud computing in today’s society. As the corporate world has embarked on the interactive platform of Web 2.0, some companies are progressing one step ahead to experiment data communication with cloud computing. What is cloud computing? According to Mache Creeger in the article “Cloud Computing: An Overview”, cloud computing refers a model of shift in the delivery of architecture of information services and data for economic reasons (Creeger, 2009). In this paper, I will present a brief overview of how cloud computing operate, the role of cloud computing in telecommunication industry, the advantages and challenges involved in its implementation.
How does cloud computing work?
“Cloud” technically refers to the data center hardware and software used in providing a pay-as-you-go data service to the public. The term “private cloud”, on the other hand, is used by organizations to refer to their internal data centers (Armbrust, et al., 2010). Cloud computing can be divided into three types of services, namely software-as-a-service (SaaS) for WAN-enabled applications, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for new applications, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for computational and storage infrastructure (Creeger, 2009).
Armbrust, et al. April 2010. [Main components of cloud computing]. Retrieved from “A View of Cloud Computing” Journal Article. Sometimes, cloud is claimed to be nothing new in data services. Chris Rose, author of the article “A Break in The Cloud? The Reality of Cloud Computing”, suggests that cloud computing is the merging of existing technologies like networking and virtualization to provide new services that charges by usage (Rose, 2011). Fundamentally, the point of storing data in the cloud, compared to conventional data management, is its high accessibility from a shared and centralized hosts and low cost for the same reason. Not only that, it enables opportunities for enhanced collaboration on a shared common platform (Creeger, 2009).
What does cloud computing mean to telecommunication business? Google, Amazon and Salesforce.com were among the earliest companies to set their footsteps in by building data architectures using cloud technology to support their applications. Following that was an increasing number of telecommunication companies around the globe such as KDDI, China Mobile, SingTel that were grabbing their pieces of the pie by joining the pioneers in delivering data services using cloud (Tobolski, Greenway, & Tucker, 2011). For these companies, they foresaw cloud services as a lucrative loophole from traditional telecommunication. An article by Accenture entitled “Six Questions Every Telecommunications Senior Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing” reports that “worldwide cloud services revenue was projected to surpass $56.3 billion in 2009, a 21.3 percent increase from 2008 revenue of $46.4 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. The market is expected to reach $150.1 billion in 2013.” (Tobolski, Greenway, & Tucker, 2011). Those figures are huge enough to boost revenues for the telecommunication players. Additionally, Tobolski and other authors points out in the same article that cloud computing allows companies to save cost by bypassing most expenses in installing and maintaining their own local data centers (Tobolski, Greenway, & Tucker, 2011). These are among of the reasons more telecom companies are investing in the development of cloud technology. However, there are other reasons that make cloud computing an ideal option. For instance, the...