Cloud computing is a buzz phrase in the Information Technology industry and is quickly catching on in the general population. Experts say that cloud computing will change the way we obtain and interact with software, as well as the way we will develop applications in the future. Are they right?
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, though recently gaining in popularity, is not a new concept and has been in existence for about a decade. Cloud computing is a system where a justmyfitness pool of high powered computer resources serve data and applications from a central location over the Internet. No special software is required to utilize these applications. For example, a few popular cloud-based apps that are widely used today are the free email offerings such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. Facebook is also a cloud-based app.
Applications “in the cloud” may be access using a standard Internet browser, from any location, and without requiring special software. Although some cloud-based apps may require a certain browser plug-in, cloud apps generally allow users to access them without installing additional software on their computers or devices.
Cloud-based apps may also be accessed by mobile devices, and from any Internet-connected location. Applications in the cloud utilize share resources to provide on-demand computing services to a variety of users. One major change for webmasters is that they now need to embrace skills that will enable them to maintain mobile sites and cloud-based apps. If the webmaster also develops applications, they mush also embrace the new tools of the trade that lend themselves to cloud computing..
Cloud Computing and the Webmaster
Cloud computing has various and far-reaching implications for the webmaster. Because those who develop for the web are in the “eye of the storm” where cloud computing is concerned, it becomes important for webmasters to understand and master web delivery systems that will continue to affect and change how they do their jobs. Cloud-based on demand web services are now offered by major Internet brands such as Google, Salesforce.com and Amazon.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon offers webmasters and developers several tools for developing and managing web applications in the cloud. Amazon’s cloud-based web services include their content delivery system, CloudFront. Amazon also offers an ecommerce cloud service which will provide order fulfillment via Amazon product warehouses known as Amazon Fulfillment Services. Amazon S3, an acronym for Simple Storage Services, offer cloud-based data and file storage, and the Virtual Private Cloud (VPS) offers secure, private networking from the cloud.
Google’s App Engine
One of Google’s recent innovations is the Google App Engine, which enables web developers to create and maintain cloud-based applications that are that “live” on Google servers, and offer on-demand access to users. The Google App Engine accommodates scalable delivery. For example, if a webmaster launches an app and expects to have 1000 users interact with the app, but instead gets a million hits on the first day, the Google App Engine can accommodate the traffic. Google offers free and fee-based app hosting, based on the need of the app owner.
Codeita is a development platform that lives in the cloud. Codeita offers developers online web editing tools accessed via a web browser, as well as web-based project management tools.
Services such as Force.com, an effort launched by the successful Salesforce.com company, provides several cloud-based platforms such as Siteforce.com, an on-demand web creation and hosting app, and Database.com, a cloud-based database application. Force.com applications are supported by the VirtualForce development platform, which offers developers many tools and utilizes proprietary Apex code for developing custom controls.
Cloud computing is changing the way webmasters, as well as users, interact with software. In order to stay relevant, webmasters must embrace these changes and alter their thinking about web-based delivery systems.