Fifteen years ago is when I had my first experience with the cloud. That was when internet cafes in Manila are sprouting and attendant will need to help you in setting up your hotmail account and that is by giving you a user id and a password. And every time I tried to send an email, somehow because of the dial up it wont send and the message will simply be saved either on an undelivered outbox or on a draft folder on my account.
I just accepted the evolving technology then, but never did I questioned so as to how it happened that a letter of mine can be saved and be retrievable anytime and anywhere. Little did I know that what is shaping then is a new technology that would soon evolve globally and personal data can be retrieved anywhere. Although the email was my personal cloud, the concept of using it has evolved and has been a normal way of living in many parts of the world, and that is cloud computing.
Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook, Multiply, Box.com and many more has provided us with virtual storage boxes where we can keep our personal files and can be accessed every time. In the United States the technology is moving full steam ahead that their top priority on their agenda is making data available while on the go. In fact the US Federal Government has allotted budget of more than $70 billion dollars a year for their IT budget and amongst the top agenda is cloud computing. Thee same hold true for Europe, wherein the European Commission have highlighted the importance of a unified cloud. Although a year ago, according to reports by 451 Group, that showed cloud computing adoption trails in Europe and Asia. About 57% operation spending is in the United States with 31% in Europe and 12% in Asia. However this year more and more government is pushing forward towards the adoption of the cloud to become an integral part our daily operations. By the end of last year a group called Asia Cloud Computing Association (Asia Cloud) was formed.
The main purpose of the association is to gather the major cloud stakeholders in Asia and accelerate the creation of the market by collectively addressing key issues and obstacles – to resolve challenges that individual companies are unlikely or not at all able to achieve on their own. And according to Asia Cloud the interest in moving to cloud is very high but Asia is probably about three years behind North America and 18 months behind Europe in adopting cloud methodologies. In fact they’ve added that the global market for cloud computing is growing at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent, from $47 billion U.S. dollars to the anticipated $126 billion U.S. dollars by 2012. The research firm IDC estimates cloud computing in Asia, outside of Japan, will expand 40 percent every year until 2014, from $1.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2010. Japan, currently the 2nd largest IT market globally, is expected to grow to $29.2 billion in 2015 according to Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. In addition to these Telegeography Research estimates that global broadband Internet subscribers will climb to more than 700 million by 2013, with more than 300 million from Asia, compared to about 100 million in North America, and nearly 200 million in Europe. Broadband is one of the medium where individual can accessed their data to the cloud.
Although the forecasted number exciting in terms of the market potential, the ground work on each and every in terms of infrastructure, government budget or laws are still being laid out to create an smooth transition going to the cloud.
In Singapore, last year telecom giant SingTel announced that it aims to grow the revenue from its cloud computing services by 50% for each of the next three years, in line with its wider plans to boost revenue from its non-core services. They’ve unveiled a new business model their cloud computing services. SingTel claims it is the first in the world to introduce a complete package of services-on-demand, which will cover infrastructure to software requirements. Customers can scale up or down requirements at any time, and will only need to pay for what's used. They also plan to eventually roll out some of the cloud-based services in overseas markets where its associates are based. They are currently working with some 300 developers to launch new software services on their platform.
In addition to that The Singapore Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and IBM have embarked on a project to host the university’s High Performance Computing (HPC) environment on a cloud. The project will allow students and researchers greater accessibility, flexibility and speed leverage the HPC environment, said Professor Soh Yeng Chai, Associate Dean of College of Engineering, NTU. According to Son Huynh, Cloud Solutions Executive, Worldwide Industry Cloud Solutions, IBM Cloud Labs, the cooperation just entered its production pilot phase in March 2011 and is expected to be completed by December 2011. NTU will then perform several months’ worth of “extensive acceptance tests” before full scale production. The entire pilot phase is expected to be completed in March 2012.
However, in China, being one of the biggest economies, the country is currently developing bigger infrastructure for its push for cloud computing. Just recently IBM announced that it will Asia's Largest Cloud Computing Center. The join project is spearheaded by both IBM and the China-based Range Technology it aims to build a cloud computing data center in Langfang, between Beijing and Tianjin and it will be largest in terms of floor space. The 620,000 square meter facility, which is to be owned by Range Technology, is expected to be completed in 2016, data center aims to mainly serve government departments from China's capital and across the country, but will also be open to banks and private enterprises. IBM added that he move was because of an existing growing demand for data centers and cloud computing in China. In fact the company's data-center business in China has tripled in the last four years. In 2010, China overtook Japan as IBM's second largest data center market, with the U.S. as the company's number one market.
Although these countries have shown full potential in terms of adoption of the cloud computing in Asia, other countries are in the region as well are beginning to adapt to the technology. Cloud computing is creating headlines in the region and the not only private sectors are seeing the outstanding benefits that can be reaped once we transitioned to it. The government as well have seen the wonder of what cloud computing can do not only in terms of the implementation of their services to the public but to break down barriers that would be able to respond accordingly to needs of the community. That is why they have created laws that is about cloud computing and that it would serve as a guideline for its citizenry.
Cloud computing is still on its early stage in the Asian region, legacy practices still do exist, but as more and more people becomes familiar with it, and will see it as a very useful tool thus they will accessed their cloud more often. Just like how facebook became bigger, it makes the world a smaller place to live in and soon all of it would be a clouded one, and it would definitely include Asia.