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What's All the Buzz About Cloud Computing?

cloudcomputing200pxOne of today’s technology buzz phrases is “cloud computing.” In 2010 Google found over 1.4 million blog posts referencing “cloud computing.” Currently there are 23,300,000 Google search results for cloud computing today. While at the WITI Women in Technology Summit, cloud computing made several seminar and keynote topics.

One of the best seminars at WITI on cloud computing was Leah Sweet’s “Cloud Computing - The New Normal and the Impact for IT Departments.” Leah is the VP Flagship Advisor for CA Technologies, a cloud computing IT company. Formerly heading American Express’ IT department and the state of Arizona, Leah Sweet’s experience in IT is impressive. She provided a lot of information about what cloud is, and how it fits in modern businesses strategies.

What is the “cloud”?

Wikipedia defines cloud computing as “Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to devices on demand.”

What does it really mean? Cloud computing is able to provide bandwidth and data capabilities at anytime from anywhere. Rather than hosting your server farm and paying for servers, you can purchase extra space on Google, Amazon, or other network servers to store data at a fraction of the cost. Because your application is stored over many servers across multiple networks, it is believed to be more secure, more stable, and faster.

Nikon saved $14 million in five years by switching to cloud computing on Amazon S3 Cloud, and Amazon only takes 90 seconds to sign up for an account. Right Scale is another cloud hosting network that has launched 1 million cloud-based servers. Many enterprise level applications are moving to the cloud, Salesforce.com currently hosts their application for 50,000 unique companies using cloud computing.

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