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SHOULD BUSINESSES MOVE TO THE CLOUD?

By Group 7 Nittiaraj A/L Perumal Samihah Ahmed Aliaa Mohd Ziyadi

Introduction
Zynga presented its approach to adopting cloud at the Interop Enterprise Cloud Summit in Las Vegas. Those who dismiss this as some silly social media company that doesnt count as a legitimate enterprise use case, which I am sure some will, miss the point completely. Regardless of the company, industry or vertical, this is a massive-scale operation that is realizing significant management efficiencies. To set some context around the levels of scale we are talking about, here are some pretty incredible business metricsaround the adoption of Zynga and social gaming.

It built own private cloud, the zCloud (internal Zynga private cloud): When the game growth slope is vertical, it cant build fast enough. When growth is less than vertical, it can build the system to meet this demand.

It uses industry-standard servers and hypervisors (xen, kvm).


It creates Amazon-like security zones. It's infrastructure is integrated with RightScale. The zCloud works on an IP routed network and is required to scale, it just doesnt scale on layer 2 switches.

Today's infrastructure is based on a hybrid model (AWS + zCloud).


It uses a single "pane of glass" to provision zCloud or AWS instances through Rightscale

zCloud Stats include: zCloud went from concept to production in <6 mos. Zynga can fully provision >1000 physical servers in 24 hours and has done this multiple times (install, plug in, provision, available). It has grown to a 75x'ed server count between Jan 09 and Jan 11.

Case Study questions:


What business benefits do cloud computing services provide? What problems do they solve? What are the disadvantages of cloud computing? How do the concepts of capacity planning, scalability, and TCO apply do this case? Apply these concepts both to Amazon and to subscribers of its services?

What kinds of businesses are most likely to benefits from using cloud computing? Why?

Q1: What business benefits do cloud computing services provide? What problems do they solve?
What business benefits do cloud computing services provide?
Cloud computing is an Internet system in which software programs and applications are used through an Internet connection. There is another definition of cloud computing, Cloud computing or something being in the cloud, is an expression used to describe a variety of different types of computing concepts that involve a large number of computers connected through a real time communication network such as the Internet (Wikipedia).

There are many benefits that cloud computing services provide. In our case study, it shows me that the example of Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS) support the biggest marketplace for global trade. The cloud computing can provide customers many sources which they want to get, like Zynga which is the developer of Facebook applications like FarmVille. I thought cloud computing has one main advantages is reduce costs. Actually, every company or business wants to reduce the cost, especially big companies which need big cost to support the services of the business. So if companies use the cloud computing in business, they can reduce lots of cost which support and maintenance on the hardware and software. Cloud computing solves many problems, such as reducing cost; improve efficiencies, providing sources for customers, and remote services.

Q1: Continued
Greater flexibility: These days, even more than saving money, large organizations needs to know that they can scale up their operations quickly to meet greater usage needs, and scale down just as quickly if resources are going unused. a cloud architecture (whether public, private, or incorporating both) makes it easier to do this because specific applications no longer need specific physical servers to run Quicker deployments: Cloud computing may or may not have an impact on application performance, but in just about every case, youll be able to get them up and running much sooner. Creating and eliminating environments for new applications is a much faster process, allowing your development team to use their time most efficiently. Fewer servers: Moving applications, infrastructure, or platforms to a cloud model can create enormous savings in your data center, as you can stand down or redeploy servers that were previously hosting applications now moved to a shared model. This can work across various environments (production, development, test), multiplying the benefits. With virtualization tools, creating and then releasing extra environments is quick and efficient.

Reduced head count: With fewer servers to maintain, and with standardized platforms, you will likely find you need fewer it staff. In fact, many companies find they can cut their maintenance staff by 50 percent.

Q1: Continued
What problems do they solve?
Expensive IT: Cloud computing levels playing field business and their enterprise counterparts by delivering affordable and accessible IT solutions. Cloud computing presents an economic advantage to business by providing IT solutions at a lower cost and increased access to data from virtually any device. Furthermore, as cloud computing enables business to spend less time and money on IT, they can refocus on the principle priority of growing their business. Tools like Microsoft Office365 reduce costs, including integration when business grow by acquisitions.
Mobility Restrictions: Mobility is an increasing IT challenge for business, and nothing tackles this challenge more completely than cloud computing. Businesses are eager for increased mobility of business applications on smartphones, which rely on timely updates only available from cloud-based software management. In general, IT staffs can be weeks behind in supporting the newest releases of an operating system that is, if your company can even afford an IT team. However, no matter how small or scalable an business is, when accommodating mobile devices it is necessary to have IT support. Cloud-based providers solve the challenge of mobility by providing service updates almost immediately, which bring enormous productivity gains. 59 percent of business currently taking advantage of cloud services reported significant gains in productivity from IT, compared to 30 percent of companies not yet using the cloud.

Limited Growth Capacity: Although business growth is the primary goal and motivation of all businesses, it quickly presents a challenge for business that cannot support the extra amount of data that new growth brings. In todays technology -driven world, IT capability determines business capability. This presents two overwhelming challenges for businesses: the lack of available suitable technology and low production capacity. These challenges can be met by optimization of the cloud as cloud computing makes enterprise-class IT technology and services available to business. The cloud can hold an unprecedented amount of data and cloud technology can be continuously rescaled to fit a companys changing needs. Cloud capabilities offer companies more opportunities and greater reach, solving the daunting challenge of limited growth capacity.

Q2: What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?


Disadvantages of cloud computing:
Possible downtime: Cloud computing makes your small business dependent on the reliability of your Internet connection. When it's offline, you're offline. And even the most reliable cloud computing service providers suffer server outages now and again. Security issues: How safe is your data? Cloud computing means Internet computing. So you should not be using cloud computing applications that involve using or storing data that you are not comfortable having on the Internet. That being said, established, reliable cloud computing vendors will have the latest, most sophisticated data security systems possible as they want your business and realize that data security is a big concern. Inflexibility: Be careful when you're choosing a cloud computing vendor that you're not locking your business into using their proprietary applications or formats. You can't insert a document created in another application into a Google Docs spreadsheet, for instance. Also make sure that you can add and subtract cloud computing users as necessary as your business grows or contracts. Lack of support: "Customer service for Web apps leaves a lot to be desired -- All too many cloud-based apps make it difficult to get customer service promptly or at all. Sending an email and hoping for a response within 48 hours is not an acceptable way for most of us to run a business".

Q3: How do the concepts of capacity planning, scalability, and TCO apply do this case? Apply these concepts both to Amazon and to subscribers of its services?
Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. Scalability is the ability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work in a capable manner or its ability to be enlarged to accommodate that growth. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a financial estimate intended to help buyers and owners determine the direct and indirect costs of a product or system. All these three capacity planning, scalability, and TCO are apply to this case. All these need a cloud computing to support these and these also can support the cloud computing. To Amazon, the Amazon is the one of the biggest online retailer over the world so that Amazon need a huge fixed cost to maintain and support the big cloud computing CRM for Amazon. So the Capacity planning and scalability and TCO is very needed to Amazon. These three systems can do many different decisions help managers of the Amazon at the extreme. As an online retailer, products and customers are the most important thing to Amazon. The demands of products are changing every day, so they need capacity planning to process it and capacity planning will take the Amazon in the best status. During customers use the Amazon, sometimes there will be millions of customers, and maybe sometimes there just have thousands of customers, so the scalability will accommodate the Amazon into a right status in order to make sure it can reduce cost at the extreme. At last, there are many sellers and buyers in Amazon, so the sellers and the customers are very take care of the cost in business. And the TCO can help people to know the cost by using different ways in business. So that these three systems are very helpful to cloud computing and cloud computing also depends on these three systems. These three systems can help Amazon to reduce the cost and also have many benefits for people and Amazon CRM.

Q4: What kinds of businesses are most likely to benefits from using cloud computing? Why?
More and more business use the cloud computing. After I studied this case, I thought there are some kinds of business are most likely to benefit from using cloud computing. Online business is the biggest user of cloud computing, at first online business need to process too much data and information online, online business also need save and keep many information of customers, so it need a strong cloud computing to support it. Using the cloud computing can get the maximum level of reducing cost. Because if online business do some research or process or save information, they need cost many money on it, but if business use cloud computing, it will reduce many cost, like labor fee. Because the cloud computing has web server space, its very huge that can support the online business. I think the digital media business and logistics business also need to use cloud computing to get more benefits. From example, the customers need to use digital media to upload or download much information so they have to have a strong cloud computing to support the services. And logistics business also needs to use cloud computing to support the services that logistics business offers. It needs a strong cloud computing to process the information.

Q4: Continued
Cloud Computing solutions can bring benefits to all industry sectors, and to both large and small companies. This was a key message conveyed to the audience at a session during the Micro Strategy World 2013 event in July. Switching information systems to the Cloud thus abolishing the need for extensive in-company infrastructure and altering the way Business Intelligence is used to support decision-making will enable firms to speed up their product development processes and to achieve profitability much more rapidly, argues Business Intelligence specialist Micro Strategy.