SAP, a cloud company
By reading my blog on Cloud, you will be able to get the insights of Cloud computing, what is cloud, why it is cost effective, why people are attracted more towards cloud. I have tried to explain via simple use cases, which are more generic. So no matter you are a fresh college graduate from IIM or IIT types, or a board member of a company, you will get answers to all the questions listed above.
Cloud. In simple words, Cloud is nothing but running a software on the web and not on your PC/laptop. Running a software on PC will consume storage, memory, processor and optionally network. For example, if you have to run Microsoft Office application(one of the best products from Mr. Gates ;)), you need a PC with Microsoft Windows operating system, with recommended memory(n GB of RAM), processor(n GHz), storage space(n GB) for installation and to run. Also, you need to purchase the license, take care of maintaining the software and upgrading it, if you are an IT colleague of a company.
Lets consider, we had to design a high definition logo for your company in Adobe Photoshop. You may not need Adobe Photoshop software alone, once the logo is created. If you purchase the software, it will be used only till the time you create a logo, and later It will be on shelf, as you will not be using the software. It’s a great deal for a company to purchase some software like this and keep it on shelf. Its simply waste of money. Hence, companies do not want to spend such a huge money to buy a software ,use it for sometime and then move to shelf. Instead, companies are looking for a pay-as-you-go type applications or services, which will save them money and also will try to make the best utilization of software. If we had Adobe Photoshop in cloud, it will be used only till the creation of your company logo. Once the logo is done, you can stop using the service. We need to pay only for the time duration which you had used. Usually the cloud service usage fee will be in per hour or per month basis. Hence cloud services, provides the best cost effectiveness.
Types of cloud services:
There are 3 main types of cloud services.
1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Eg. A virtual machine will be provided to you, which you can access via Microsoft Remote Desktop.
2. Platform as a service (PaaS)
Eg. Microsoft Azure, which will allow you to develop applications based on .NET technology and host it online.
3. Software as a service (SaaS)
Eg. Google Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs.
These terms for many seems to be new, but when you look at the examples which I have given, its something, which you are using, but you never know what type of cloud service you are using. One can get more information about the types of cloud services at http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud/blog/2013/09/03/saas-and-paas-need-to-be-symbiotic-and-deliver-jointly-on-expectation-for-enterprise-scale
Further there are many cloud services like, Database as a service, Memory as a service, Storage as a service , Processor etc. But the main are the one listed above.
Lets start with the one which is more familiar for most of us. Google’s services, viz. Gmail, Drive, Docs.
As I already mentioned, companies are looking more towards, pay-as-you-go type of services, Google’s web application are the best examples. Google drive provides free storage up to 5GB, after which, you need to pay a monthly fee to get more storage. Its almost same with Gmail as well.
Platform as a service provides us the development environment on web, instead of a desktop/laptop. Its like instead of using Microsoft Visual studio to develop a .NET application, you will be using Windows Azure to do the development. For more information about Windows Azure, please consult the best companion of a developer, Google Search 😉 . Word Press is also one of the best example of PaaS. It will help you to setup a website or a small company portal with very less development effort.
The IaaS is the big boss of cloud service, which will provide you a virtual machine on the cloud. You can access to such a virtual machine either via remote desktop connection or any other web browser. One can choose the configuration of virtual machine, along with OS and software to be installed and used. Hence allowing a Windows user to install and try a web server on Debian Linux OS in virtual machine. When you are developing some OS core application, virtual machine is the best solution, as you will not be happy to break your own system, when developing goes wrong.
Lets draw our attention towards SAP cloud solutions now. SAP Jam is one of the best example of software as a service. It is one of the best and first of its kind of collaborative environment. It’s a place, where you can create groups, share and collaborate documents, perform key business processes, does HR, learning and knowledge management simple, Similarly, SAP HANA cloud platform is the next best example for PaaS. It provides a easy to learn and develop HANA based applications.
Know how people are happy with these solutions at http://www.sap.com/pc/tech/cloud/software/overview/index.html(watch 2 minute video). Read more about SAP Jam at http://www.successfactors.com/en_us/solutions/bizx-suite/social-collaboration/jam.html
End users feeling about the cloud:
Companies do not want to spend billions of money buying a software, then spending million setting the system up. Companies want to spend as they grow. Hence, cloud solution will best fit into pockets of most of the companies in market today.
Line of difference between cloud services are diminishing:
Simple applications like word press(one of the best known CMS) do not need a powerful PC for development. But when it comes to a SAP HANA based application development, there may be a need of a power PC or infrastructure. Hence, HANA based application development should be provided as a IaaS with PaaS installed with in. Hence, the line between cloud services are constantly diminishing.
Advantages of using cloud:
• Software upgrade has to be done only once to the server. There will no compatibility issue and fixing a bug will fix it for everyone else. Hence reducing the maintenance effort/cost.
• No need to purchase and install bulky development environment making your PC/laptop slow.
• Use when you want, stop when you are done. Hence reducing the IT spending cost for the company.
• Allow uses to try an application for time needed and later stop using it. Hence reducing the bulky cost of software.
• No software piracy. As everything is installed on vendor’s server and the service will be provided pay-as-you-go basis.
So, lets start building the solution on cloud and make SAP a cloud company.