computing resources in the cloud. For
example, even if a falling meteor turns
the cloud facility into a crater, the company will be back online within minutes
at another location. The cloud-enabled
resource pooling yields outstanding data
confidence for its business without busting the budget.
The Cloud and Claims
Let’s look at how cloud computing
could help with the processing of claims
in the context of a natural disaster. Traditionally, before the cloud, daily backups of claims databases are taken to an
off-site environmentally hardened facility. In the event of a disaster that destroys
the data center, a new data center is assembled, new computing resources are
configured, and then the backup from
the hardened facility is restored. After
these steps are completed, the business
can resume operation. This process can
typically take weeks to complete for an
average-sized data center.
Now contrast that with a data center
that operates in the cloud. Because of
economy of scale, the claims database can
operate with a continuous backup from
the primary cloud location to a remote
cloud location. The high-speed connection between the cloud facilities would be
prohibitively expensive if it were paid for
by a single company. In a cloud facility,
however, that cost is shared by everyone
in the cloud, transforming a live backup
to a remote location from a premium-priced luxury into a commodity.
When your cloud vendor is providing
the remote continuous backup for you,
and disaster strikes, you can have your
business back online in a matter of minutes or hours rather than weeks. Computing resources can be provisioned at
another location much like a copy-and-paste operation. Your backup data is attached to those new resources and you
are back in business.
There is plenty of hyperbole and con-
fusing buzz surrounding cloud comput-
ing. Nevertheless, the benefits are signifi-
cant, and those benefits go well beyond
cost savings. When you are investigating
cloud computing, be sure to get clear
definitions of terms, as many words used
in the cloud computing parlance differ
greatly in meaning depending on the
context and whom you are talking to.
Don law is the cto for arbitration Resolution services, inc. in coral springs, Florida.
He holds a master’s degree in software
engineering from carnegie mellon university and has three decades of experience
in the computing industry, implementing
high-performance, high-assurance, and
high-availability systems on everything from
cellular phones to mainframes. law may
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.