Finally, "The Cloud" Means Something
Few jargonistic terms have annoyed me as much as, "The Cloud." When the term was first coined, its meaning was ambiguous at best. For some companies, it meant shared web hosting (but with a cooler sounding name). For others it was simply, "let us host your servers in our datacenter, which we now refer to as a cloud."
Then, finally, the concept started to solidify into offering specific services or entire software applications as a commodity removed from the server infrastructure. Honestly, I think that was the intent from the beginning, but it took several years before anyone really implemented anything useful in, "the cloud."
Software as a service (SaaS) is arguably the largest implementation of the "cloud" ideology. I had never really heard of "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) before reading up on the upcoming IBM webinar here at Linux Journal. (Full disclosure: I'm sure there is a financial partnership of some sort involved with the webinar. I don't know those details, I'm writing because I found it interesting!)
In my DayJob situation, I need to deploy a Java based application for our intranet. Since we don't have a Java application server environment, the biggest chore for me is figuring out what application server, or what servlet container to implement. Then I have to configure it, maintain it, and keep it updated with both Java itself and the web server components. That's where PaaS comes in. Instead of buying a software package as a service (SaaS), PaaS allows me to deploy whatever Java applications I want onto a fully installed, maintained, and updated Java application server.
The PaaS concept piqued my interest, and perhaps it piques yours. At the very least it gives more meat to the concept of "cloud computing", which is always a good thing. Oh, and for the record? Shared web hosting was cloud computing long before it was cool, just saying.
NOTE FROM WEBMISTRESS: The webinar Shawn referred to is HERE, and it's coming up soon!
Pick up any e-commerce web or mobile app today, and you’ll be holding a mashup of interconnected applications and services from a variety of different providers. For instance, when you connect to Amazon’s e-commerce app, cookies, tags and pixels that are monitored by solutions like Exact Target, BazaarVoice, Bing, Shopzilla, Liveramp and Google Tag Manager track every action you take. You’re presented with special offers and coupons based on your viewing and buying patterns. If you find something you want for your birthday, a third party manages your wish list, which you can share through multiple social- media outlets or email to a friend. When you select something to buy, you find yourself presented with similar items as kind suggestions. And when you finally check out, you’re offered the ability to pay with promo codes, gifts cards, PayPal or a variety of credit cards.Get the Guide
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