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I am starting yet another series called Cloud Advantage Series. In this series, I will identify some of the key advantages of moving a business to the clouds. The first Cloud advantage I am going to discuss in this series is the speed of deployment advantage.
I have been in the middle of On-Premise Vs On-Demand debates on numerous occasions. One of the advantages I put forward in support of the On Demand cloud based infrastructure is the speed with which one can deploy new computing resources. In the traditional On-Premise world, the whole process from the planning stage to the actual deployment will take anything from few weeks to few months depending on the need. Suppose if a project suddenly needs more computing resources, well beyond the excess resources companies usually have under their belt, there is nothing one can do except to wait for the deployment of new resources. This leads to quite a bit of wastage of time. Also, the capital expenditure on the newly deployed computing resources could go waste if the need for extra resources fades away. With the proliferation and maturation of Cloud infrastructure services, such an approach proves to be a bad business choice. By adapting to Cloud based infrastructure, a company can not only save time while scaling up, they can save money by scaling down when the additional resources are no longer needed. It is a win-win scenario.
Recently, I was listening to a talk by David Powers of Eli Lilly about how his company used Cloud computing to their advantage. In this talk, he gave some data that could highlight the advantage of cloud computing compared to traditional
on-premise computing when it comes to the speed of deployment. He pointed out that a new server will take 7.5 weeks to deploy in an on-premise environment but 3 minutes in the Cloud. A new collaboration takes 8 weeks on an On-Premise environment whereas it takes 5 minutes in the Cloud Computing environment. A new 64 node Linux Cluster takes 12 weeks to deploy on an on-premise environment whereas it takes 5 minutes in the Cloud Computing environment. Companies save ridiculously huge amount of time while scaling up and the time saved translates into higher profits. Add to this the money companies could save if their need for excess resources goes away. Remember, Eli Lilly is not a mom and pop business. It is a multi-million dollar Pharma company whose security requirements are on par with many of the enterprise players. I think it is time for the enterprise IT people to look into the promise of the Clouds.
This is not the only example about the speed of deployment of new resources to meet the demand. We are, by now, familiar with how New York Times tapped into Amazon EC2 for their PDF conversion of archived back issues, spending just a few thousand dollars instead of few hundred thousands on the on-premise infrastructure.
If you know of any other story that highlights the speed of deployment in a cloud based environment, please let us know. Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.