Have you noticed how “cloudy” it is getting in IT?
It seems that everyone has a cloud service to sell.   Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and numerous other companies are promoting the cloud concept to sell their new internet-based services.

With all of the cloud marketing going on, I started thinking. Do I subscribe to cloud services? At first glance, I was not sure.  Just what is a cloud service? After a bit of research on the definition,
I discovered that cloud services are simply applications or resources that I can access over the internet on demand on the device of my choosing.

As a virtual office employee, it turns out that I utilize quite a few cloud services.  My VoIP telephone service sits in a cloud.   So does my Twitter account.  And my corporate VPN, email and voucher system – all internal clouds.   Even the YouTube page at CommScope sits in a cloud.  So maybe there is some merit to the whole cloud frenzy in the marketplace.  I do use and depend on these services.  And they are easy to set up and use. I do not have to know how they work, just how to access them.

My QoS (quality of service) for these cloud applications is dependent on three network segments:

  1. The cloud provider’s network

  2. My ISP’s network

  3. My LAN network.

Any one of these networks can adversely affect my quality of service.  The only one I control is my own LAN.  I am somewhat at the mercy of the cloud and the ISP to maintain adequate levels of service so my apps run smoothly.   I recently began to have problems with my VoIP service.  It seems my VoIP service (cloud network) required more stable and plentiful bandwidth than my DSL (ISP network) was able to provide resulting in unacceptable issues with call quality.  Fortunately, I was able to switch to another ISP network with a substantial increase in available bandwidth.  My cloud based VoIP calls are now up to my expectations.  Perfect.

It appears large enterprises are faced with the same three network scenarios—able to control one while dependent on the other two. As the other two are a bit fuzzy on how they operate (telecom cloud and internet cloud), enterprise CIOs are likely to entertain external cloud services for less important applications, but keep the strategic ones under their control for now.

To how many cloud services do you subscribe?

About the Author

Jim Hulsey

Jim Hulsey is the Manager of Education Services at CommScope. Jim has held positions in Product Management, Solutions Management, Global Marketing, Regional Marketing, and Strategic Marketing with AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya and CommScope.

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2 comments for "Partly Cloudy With A Chance Of Service"
Drew Hawkins

I actually do almost everything on a cloud. It's been a gradual process for me in my job to (over time) provide me with more telecommute options. Our company recently rolled out a new Salesforce.com initiative and put me in charge - in turn putting even more of my work on a cloud. Hanging out at Dreamforce this week, I'm learning about a TON of new cloud services (and explaining to our VP of Global Sales what "cloud" means). Some fun cloud things that are cool to look into are Evernote (a note-taking tool) and Dropbox (a file storage tool). I use both for a lot of my note-taking and file sharing. Google apps are a great resource as well. Depends on what your needs are.

Jim Hulsey

Hi Drew. Thanks for your comments. Last night I watched Jim Cramer from Mad Money interview Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff from the Dreamforce 2010 conference. The interview centered on the cloud's unique ability to respond to customer needs for new applications. It was an interesting discussion with a bold slant on new services like Database.com. And with over 30,000 "cloud walkers" attending the Dreamforce conference this year, it appears the cloud revolution is definitely underway.

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