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Who Pays For Cloud Services Like Twitter, Gmail and Facebook

Lots of good things on SaaS today are free services. Google Search, Wikipedia, Facebook, Gmail. Do these corporations run for charity? Some non profit organizations like Wikipedia do (and get funded based on donations) but the majority of others don't. There are serious investors in these run-for-profit companies. Investors bet money on the management of these companies expecting better returns than what most other enterprises in the market can return for their dollar.

Google's way of funding their Search and Mail is through text advertising. If you type in "Google Advertising" in a Google search form and hit return, you get a page full of search results.

Understanding The Cloud Jargons

We will continue with Gmail as our example. This is a mail software that we consume as a service. The jargon that the techie guys use to represent such a thing is SaaS (Software As A Service - usually pronounced as if it is a single word 'SaaS'). So Gmail is SaaS.

Whenever we use SaaS, all of us use a unique path in the internet to invoke the software. In the case of Gmail the unique path is We all know it. Irrespective of your current location in the world this path is the same. Even if you use different kinds of devices (iPad, iPhone, your other smartphone, laptop, internet kiosk, your desktop pc, your hotel TV screen or an Apple Mac) to access the internet, this path is the same.

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If You Have To Set Up a Cloud Computer, What Will You Consider?

We talked earlier about mail providers like Gmail. Let us take that as an example because most of us are familiar with Gmail. We know that millions of people around any country use Gmail service today. They all access the application that runs on a computer inside the cloud. During a typical day, it is easy to imagine lean periods of Gmail usage where only a handful of people are consuming Gmail services. It is equally easy to imagine a time of the day where hundreds of thousands of people (peak periods) could be simultaneously checking e-mail.

Where Is My Data? Is It Safe? Can I Move It?

Now we understand the different types of cloud applications. We also understand that Cloud Computing is a bidirectional process and we need to transmit and receive data to be able to leverage a cloud based computer. Some of this data could be stored on the cloud as well.

Let us concentrate on data now. In the earlier post, we saw that data for the individual could be private, secret, and sensitive. For enterprises it could be highly confidential. What are some issues around sending, receiving and storing data in cloud computing?