Magazine article Information Management

Lifting the Fog on Cloud Computing

Magazine article Information Management

Lifting the Fog on Cloud Computing

Article excerpt

Lifting the Fog on Cloud Computing Cloud Computing Explained Author John Rhoton Publisher: Recursive Press Publication Date: 2010 Length: 483 pages Price: $39.95 ISBN-13: 978-0-9 563 556-0-7

Source: www.recursivepress. com

The underlying assumption of John Rhoton's Cloud Computing Explained is that the reader is facing a critical decision: Does cloud computing make sense for the organization or not? This book is for those who need an in-depth understanding of cloud computing's many facets, including consultants, architects, technologists, and strategists involved with analyzing, planning, and implementing new technologies.

Cloud Computing Explained provides excellent introductory material about the types of clouds, the pros and cons of their components, and their similarities and differences, including implications for managing information in the cloud; however, it is not a primer. Instead, it is a structured approach to assessment, design, selection, and implementation of cloud technology.

The author's overriding objective is to provide a comprehensive picture of cloud computing. He does this by arranging 30 chapters under 10 headings in the order they would arise in the context of a project: define, assess, design, select, integrate, implement, operate, control, adapt, and evolve.

The first five chapters under "define" are relevant to all readers, including a definition of cloud computing, as well as an overview of how cloud components fit together.

Rhoton explains the SPI software model - which stands for software-asa-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service. He walks through each layer of the SPI model to give an introductory view of what cloud architecture looks like.

Rhoton mentions specific products as a means to reinforce the concepts and explains how the cloud services industry works, revealing, for example, that one cloud service provider may actually subcontract some components from another, a fact that is not immediately apparent to the casual observer.

The inclusion of material to help in analyzing and thinking about the technology from a broader perspective gives the book much of its richness.

For example, Chapter 1 explains the Gartner-developed hype cycle, a chart showing the tendency of new technologies to get high levels of interest long before they are mature enough to actually be implemented.

Chapter 7 on strategic impact notes that cloud computing can affect internal IT strategy, as well as external competitive position, and it includes illustrations of analytical frameworks for assessing potential impact. …

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