Cloud Computing and Deployment Models for SEA countries and Thailand

Johnny KHOEBLAL PhD (ABD), Drs, Ing
Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Lecturer ERP, Business Intelligence, Software Engineering and Researcher on Cloud Computing. Expert in Business Consulting and Implementing SAP ERP
 
Abstract
      This paper introduces Cloud Computing and one of my research topics. Some real implementations of Cloud Computing will be discussed as well as different business delivery and deployment models. My research focuses on these business models and the threats within, in order to investigate on and propose applicable business models which could fit in SEA countries in general; In particular I investigate on most suitable business deployment models for Cloud Computing in Thailand, given local law and culture.
      There are still many threats to cloud services, without simple standard solutions. My research therefore addresses questions like: What (revised) business delivery models are appropriate to offer cloud services to customers. Do we need a different model, only because of the change in customers’ habits from ‘buy and use’ to ‘pay for use’? What are the acceptance criteria of SEA countries and more specific for Thai customers [1] [i], if they consider migrating their existing services to the cloud? What impacts will this have on customers’ IT architecture and standards? Outsourcing the existing IT infrastructure and or acquiring new functionalities from the cloud still does not mean that a customer can outsource their responsibilities. Which outsourcing model is applicable? Using cloud services also implies that the geographical location of and from where these cloud services are offered are transparent to customers. So what is the impact of the transparency of the geographical (re)location of the clouds for Thailand? What is the impact on privacy, security and country laws? Are we able to create trusted cloud computing platforms? [2].
1. Introduction
      Presently, there is much written and spoken about Cloud Computing by managers in Information Technology Sector and Businesses. Some think that it is a disruptive trend for a new phase in the evolution of the internet. For others it is just hype, because it makes use of existing IT-technologies. But what is Cloud Computing exactly? For an end-user Cloud Computing is just a way to get access to IT services, without needing to understand what the underlying technology is. For a company Cloud Computing delivers services in a simple way to customers and company to satisfy needs and it offers unlimited scalability and differentiated service quality (QoS) to support fast innovation and decision-making. Cloud offers an accelerated manner to offer services to customers.
      IBM played her role in the evolution of the cloud delivering technology with a wide range of hardware, software and services. They also invested in Cloud Computing and keep investing in research and development. IBM already has setup Cloud Computing environments for customers, for own use and for the public. IBM realized Cloud Computing environments for their total collaboration and mail solutions portfolio (Lotuslive) which enables to work faster and more flexible and enables them also to react on the market. Not so long ago IBM announced ‘Blue Insight’. Blue Insight is the largest private Cloud Computing system, specially developed for their 200.000 employees. The system collects data from more than 100 different databases worldwide with which IBM sales employees can make decisions and can react on defined business opportunities.
      We will give also an example from Philips, who was able to move to a private cloud and estimated an increase in cost savings in IT of 30%.
 
2. FAQ’s on Cloud Computing
      Three frequently asked questions if considering Cloud Computing are:
1. Does Cloud Computing helps imple-menting innovative services for a company and their customers, with which they can distinguish themselves from the competition?

Whether it is about public or private cloud services, the use of Cloud Computing can enable more innovation, faster implementation and lower costs. This enables companies to experiment more with new ideas. Moreover many of future innovations will contain innovative application- and information services from others (suppliers, customers, business partners or the government). These services will possibly be developed as cloud based services.
 
2. Can Cloud Computing help to faster realize goals in the area of IT optimization, cost reductions and a faster time-to-market?

Cloud Computing can give access to the required, standardized IT resources of a third party, with which you can fast implement applications, services or IT resources, without the need to restructure your infrastructure. In some cases you might not even need an infrastructure. An important aspect about Cloud Computing is about industrialization of the IT infrastructure to reduce operating costs and at same time improve service quality and deliver services faster. Cloud Computing offers a series of fundamental building blocks with which business services quickly can improve to a higher level of excellence. Some companies will purchase such cloud-based services to improve their existing infrastructure or to upgrade or replace. Other companies are looking for ways to adapt their infrastructure to deliver cloud-based services support.
 
3. Does Cloud Computing gives a competitive advantage?

      Companies using the power of Cloud Computing effectively can realize a competitive advantage by a faster innovation, greater scalability (upscale and downscale) for optimization of resources and costs and the access to resources which are otherwise not accessible. The speed of the implementation and the degree of cost savings depends on the extent to which companies are prepared to adapt.
      It is important that Cloud Computing is part of a broader strategy and a plan to fine-tune IT-resources on general business goals and needs. In some cases Cloud Computing can indeed be the answer to receiving and or delivering services. In other cases the optimal use of underlying technologies is the most appropriate choice.
3. Different delivery models
      As mentioned above Cloud Computing can be offered from different models. See Cloud Computing Types in Ref [3].
 
      Basically, there are four deployment models for Cloud Computing: Public, Private, Internal and Hybrid Clouds.  Public Clouds are external clouds in the Cloud space, whereas Private Clouds are setup for only one customer in a separate space outside the company. Internal Clouds are like private clouds, but are placed within the company itself. In the latter case the cloud could also be managed by an external supplier. In my research these different deployment models will be evaluated in the search for suitable business delivery models. See picture below for clarification.
 
 
      Researchers on Cloud computing also mention Inter-clouds or Meta-clouds. In my research these Cloud of Clouds will be left out, simply because it will not contribute to a better understanding of the topics Cloud Computing itself.
4. Changing game
      Cloud Computing is changing the game and is becoming the technology from 2010 on. A recent research by the Dutch magazine Computable [2] between more than 1000 experts shows that in almost all topics Cloud Computing is being mentioned as the most important trend for 2010. An important reason to choose for Cloud Computing is to reduce costs. The current way of managing the IT infrastructure at many enterprises is just not efficient enough. Clouds like that of Amazon or IBM is delivering computing time a much lower price than one company can do on its own. At the same time many of these companies lack innovation power, because of the investments needed. Cloud Computing started as SaaS, but offers now much more than only application and infrastructure sharing. Cloud Computing offers also desktop, web services en even business processes like Paypal as a service. But the concept remains the same: It offers computing capacity on demand at variable costs based on consumption level. As shown the business case balances itself to cost reduction, scalability, speed-to-market and an ‘infinite computing capacity’; this can be best compared with switch of the last century when the companies stopped using their own electricity production and joined the public utility services.
      Cloud Computing shifts also the balance of power in the economy. New market entrants can now get the advantage from the availability and capacity of computing services as big traditional companies did before but now without huge investments. The power of the new economy lies now in combining of cloud services and cloud mashups[3] and not anymore in setup and management of it. From this, new markets entrants benefits more than already established players. Cloud mashups are helping newcomers to accelerate innovations to the market.
      Gartner top 10 strategic technologies list for 2010 shows that Cloud Computing / virtualization is a hot topic. Below is the list of the Gartner about ‘Technologies you can’ afford to ignore’.
Source: Gartner, David Cearley and Carl Claunch
Gartner list shows that Cloud Computing and analytics has jumped front and center.
5. Security and Reliability
      An important aspect in Cloud Computing is the security of the cloud. According to Forrester about 80% of the companies do not invest in the cloud, because of the security of their applications and data. Important questions to be answered are: (a) How can we guarantee the security of the cloud? (b) Who is actually the owner of the information and? (c) What is being stored?
      Cloud Computing contributes to a higher concentration of data in large datacenters. If hackers succeed in breaking in, they will have access to a huge treasure. By far it is not possible for many suppliers to offer waterproof user agreements.
      Sometimes also the law requires that data of Banks cannot be kept outside the EU, whereas one of the characteristics of Cloud Computing is that the physical location of data no longer matters. Another threat is that cloud services often are secured with passwords, whereby companies may have an increased risk if employees leave the company. All these problems make Cloud Computing for certain companies unsuitable. Because of these threats crucial pay data, military installations and medical information will therefore not easily move into the cloud. Reliability: If an IT system crashes, than it is a local incident in the traditional IT world. With Cloud Computing one can only report the problem and wait and hope to see that it gets solved. Cloud services become as reliable as your ISP. Many progressions are still to be made in these fields of research. Some cloud providers, however are able to offer customer cloud services in at a highly secured and reliable service level.
      Cloud service suppliers also need to ‘proof’ to companies who insist that at any time, they (and only they) can access their valuable data and also that the information is in safe hands en lastly is easily movable in the case that they wish to move to another supplier of cloud services. Privacy rules must also be obeyed, which is not an easy subject to lawyers at all.
6. Private Cloud of Philips
      Recently Philips Electronics (Dutch concern) decided to move to a service model based on Cloud Computing. This mega contract is estimated to be around 500 million Euro and is awarded to the German based service provider T-Systems which won in a compete-tion from Atos Origin, IBM and Tata Consultancy Services. The main reasons for Philips to choose for T-Systems were flexibility, ‘SAP on demand’ and Cloud Computing. Since January of 2010 T-Systems is responsible for the infrastructure of the Philips Datacenters in The Netherlands, USA, Germany and some other countries in the Europe, South America and Asia. This Philips effort is part of their strategy to consolidate their IT-Systems, modernize and reduce costs in the long term. This huge effort will reduce the number of IT partners from 800 down to 10 and increase cost savings in IT with 30% in 2011!
7. Research on Cloud Computing
       In the period to come we will research the issues mentioned in the introduction around Cloud Computing. In this research I will reflect my experience as an Atos Origin Business Consultant and SAP Project manager in studies and research in around this subject as well as experience in the Netherlands, from setting up HAAS and SAAS as predecessors of Cloud Computing. Experiences from the competition in offering a private cloud for Philips will also play a role in my investigation. In my research I will however focus on the (changed) business deployment models, impact of transparency of geographic location of the cloud and primary threats when deploying Computing Clouds.
References
[1]     D.Nurmi, R.Wolski, C.Grzegorczyk, G.Obertelli, S.Soman, L.Youseff, and D.Zagorodnov. Eucalyptus: A Technical Report on an Elastic Utility Computing Architecture Linking Your Programs to Useful Systems. Technical Report 2008-10, UCSB. Computer Science, 2008.
[2]     Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R. et al. Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing. UCB/EECS-2009-28, EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley, 2009.
[3]     Nuno Santos, Krishna P. Gunnadi, Rodrigo Rodrigues: Towards Trusted Cloud Computing, MPI-SWS 2009
[4]     R. Prodan, V. Nae, and A. Iosup, Dynamic Resource Provisioning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games, In IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), 2010
[5]     S. Ostermann, A. Iosup, N. Yigitbasi, R. Prodan, T. Fahringer, and D. Epema, A Performance Analysis of EC2 Cloud Computing Services for Scientific Computing, In D.R. Avresky et al. (Eds.): Cloudcomp 2009, LNICST 34, pp. 115–131, 2010. 
[6]     http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/magazineFeature/0,296894,sid14_gci1349670,00.html
[7]     http://chenxiwang.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/follow-up-cloud-security/
[9]     Privacy in the Clouds: Risks to Privacy and Confidentiality from Cloud Computing. http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/pdf/WPF_Cloud_Privacy_Report.pdf.
[10]Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing. http://www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/guidance/csaguide.pdf.


[1] Customers, private businesses, public services or government (agencies)
[2] Computable, December 10th 2009
[3] Cloud mashups are a new type of application that combines Cloud Computing services from multiple clouds with your on-premise data and services rapidly into a single service or application. Cloud Computing Journal, April 2010

 

About the Author

 

Photo John x1.pngJohnny, A. Khoeblal Ph.D (ABD), Drs, Ing. is currently Lecturer at the Faculty of Information Technology of the Mae Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
He is Dutch citizen and was born in the Kingdom of The Netherlands. His academic degrees are received from the Netherlands, He holds BSc in Informatics, a Ph.D (ABD) and a MSc. in Management Information Technology, Economics and Mathematics.
      Johnny Khoeblal has over 20 years consulting experience in Business Consulting, IS Management and IS Development. He is an expert on SAP ERP Finance, Logistics, Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, Plant Maintenance, Human Resource Management and SAP Technical Upgrades. He is experienced in change management, project management of SAP ERP implementations in large companies.
      Johnny Khoeblal has industry experience in Public Sector / Government, Public Transportation, Manufacturing, Banking and Oil and Gas. Some customer references are Dutch Railway ProRail, ABN AMRO Bank, Dutch Ministry of Interior, University of Amsterdam, Shell Exploration and Production and Ministry of Defense - Royal Dutch Air Force.

       Johnny Khoeblal lectures in Software Engineering, Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Data mining and SAP ERP. He is currently doing research on Cloud Computing and Virtualization. Further he is investigating the applicability of Open source ERP for Thai SME.

 

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