6. July 2020 By Engin Demir
Cloud Computing and its Impact on Development Environment
The cloud computing technology we know of today has been long in the making. Initial seeds were planted in early 1960s, as time sharing became popularized by Remote Job Entry. It was a convient way for sending requests to mainframe computers from remote workstations.
Another crucial progress appeared at the beginning of 1990s. Until then, telco operators were using only point to point data connections. Later, they started offering VPN data connection services to their customers, which would be a significant connection model for future data centers. It was not only promising bandwidth efficiency at a better quality of service, but also enabling the infrastructure for optimisation of hardware systems and CPUs.
2000s were when cloud computing started shining as a cutting edge technology to allow hundred thousands of users to take advantage of all new infrastructure, platform and software technologies without making huge initial hardware, software, data connection and security investments and having deep knowledge to govern the entire processes.
Some very critical launches for cloud computing came from vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. MS Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM SmartClud and Oracle Cloud were promising a new era for users to access integrated structure of IT solutions, including the Applications (SaaS), Platform (PaaS) and Infrastructure (IaaS) layers, without spending a fortune in one sitting but extending the technology investment to a long period of time.
A vital concept: Virtualization
After exploring a short history of data center and infrastructure of cloud hosting, another vital concept, virtualization, comes to the fore. Virtualization enabled single physical computers to work as many virtual devices by utilizing the idle computing resources using an efficient way to allocate them into all of virtual devices. This software technology made a significant contribution to cost reduction and operations’ speedup while minimizing user involvement and potential human errors. By benefiting from virtualization, data center administrators became able to provision all of data center IT resources coming from customers on demand.
An argument of cons for cloud computing
As mentioned before, cloud computing provides many benefits, but inevitably, it has a number of cons as well. Although, upsides of cloud computing, such as resource utilization and cost reduction, are approved by the majority, authorities still come up with some arguments regarding downsides like limitations for customization and applications’control by users, technical outages under overwhelming usage traffics and legal data protection issues. However in near future, new improvements on cloud technologies will undoubtfully turn out current situation more to cloud computing and its users’ advantage.
Impact on development environment
Cloud computing also has a huge impact on software development environment. Developers can easily access application development servers and services by a medium of simple web based user interface. Instead of on premise IT infrastructure, developers are able to easily scale their development environment depending on their demand like increasing VCPUs and storages of their virtual servers without spending a lot of time on issues like provisioning, data redundancy and disaster recovery.
Besides distinctly contributing to development environment, cloud computing also increases the impact of services like DNS/web, database, container support, content delivery, machine learning, big data analysis and mobile services. Emerging technologies like big data and machine learning sound fancy for technology enthusiasts, however, getting those types of services and implementing them in development projects would be way further down the line without using cloud’s advantages.
Although large enterprises may afford sytems and software used in those cutting edge technologies, they are still launched with unachievable investment costs for SMBs. On demand cloud services provide an opportunity for companies and individuals who want to enjoy them with reasonable pay per usage/month costs. Thus, by using those services, analysing any amount of complex data in order to cover business insights or mine customer related data, identifying patterns for understanding consumer behaviors and providing the best customer experience will be possible.
Developers will be able to train and validate their own data model and interpret the results. Those easily achievable software techniques will help them develop sector specific bots and new AI solutions. Using all of the new intelligent services offered by cloud platforms, businesses can easily digitalize their operations and processes and increase their operational efficiency.