Cloud Computing and the Drive to Reduce Costs

Historically, high operating costs were viewed as unavoidable when it came to hosting web servers and platforms. In recent years, however, a number of breakthroughs caused many to look for ways to cut costs when operating online.

An advance in efficiency

Recently, Stanford University announced the discovery of new techniques for managing cloud platforms in a more efficient manner. A system developed by students, which they call Quasar, offers a new method for determining the amount of resources needed to perform particular tasks.

Instead of having to calculate how many resources a program might need and adding the extra capacity, administrators instead determine how well the program will need to perform. Quasar is better able to determine how many resources are needed and how best to divide them up.

Cloud management comes with a number of benefits, and cloud service providers make managing data and programs far simpler by offering turnkey solutions for a number of online needs. In addition, they allow companies to avoid the costs associated with managing, upgrading, and securing their own servers.

The financial savings of cloud installations are usually substantial, and most businesses are expected to make the switch in coming years.

What holds some companies back

Some companies have been slow to make the transition due to concerns about remote data storage. Many of these concerns have arisen because of the young age of the cloud industry. Some will undoubtedly resist making the switch for the foreseeable future, but most will eventually adopt cloud methodology in the coming years as the benefits become too great to ignore.

While the Quasar system is being hailed as a significant step forward, business managers shouldn’t expect to see cloud providers offering Quasar systems. The actual system is mostly experimental, and experts strongly recommend against using such new technology.

The prospect of saving 20 percent on operating costs is intriguing, but the benefits aren’t great enough to necessitate a switch just yet.

An idea whose time is coming

This isn’t to say that these developments won’t play a major role in the future of cloud computing. The techniques that Quasar an edge can be, and likely will be, adopted by providers of mature cloud platforms, and users can expect to be able to take advantage of these advances in a few years.

Developing and testing these new systems will take time, so change isn’t expected overnight. The expected benefits, however, are large enough that most providers will be forced to change how they operate.

Extra advantages

Quasar technology may offer some side benefits as well. In addition to greater efficiency, systems that use its technology might be able to handle traffic surges in a more graceful manner.

Cloud systems are built with enough overhead to handle moderate traffic surges, but too much activity can cause systems to break down. By scaling in terms of performance, surges might result in slower response times but greater durability.

The cloud paradigms are revolutionizing how people view computing, and the ubiquity of the Internet will ensure that it remains the top platform for future growth. While Quasar likely won’t be available from top cloud providers any time soon, its technology will certainly have an impact on the industry.

Anna Johansson
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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