Tag Archive for: Cloud Computing

What’s in a name?

Cloud computing is often regarded as a horrible buzzword that is thrown around at every opportunity.  This may be true but it may also be better and easier than some of the alternatives. In this article we look at the differences between the three main types of cloud computing and why there is so much confusion.

SaaS – Software as a Service

Chances are you have been using SaaS for ages and not even known about it. Webmail anyone? SaaS allows you to use a program or software as a free (Gmail) or paid for (Salesforce.com) subscription service. Customers rely on the vendor to maintain and update the product for them saving the time and energy required to setup and run these services themselves in house. Google is really running with this concept from calendaring, word processing and even mapping being possible from any web browser. Having software run externally also allows for very easy roaming as any user can access their data from anywhere in the world.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

The PaaS layer offers savings for both the customer and the developer but at the cost of functionality and control. Examples of PaaS are Google’s App Engine and the Force.com platform.  The PaaS supplier provides a standard programming environment, usually with API’s that allow for easily utilising certain off the shelf tools such as redundant storage and databases.  Developers can quickly create tools and products that can be sold with all the advantages of SaaS services without having to get their hands dirty building fully secure and redundant systems from scratch.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Purists say that IaaS is the only one that deserves to be called Cloud Computing. For years companies have purchased or rented servers in data centres to run their applications. While it was great to have your own box it was up to you to make it robust and redundant enough to cope with everything the Internet throws at you. IaaS providers such as Rackspace and ElasticHosts virtualise their data centres and sell virtual servers with the same power as the physical server you had but with the added benefit of redundancy and a large cost saving. Because virtual machines can be turned on and off at will and with most providers billing by the hour or minute it is very easy to cope with peaks in demand. Instead of using one server to process some data over 20 hours you can use 20 servers and have your answer in one hour.

There are always exceptions

Of course no labelling would be complete without some blurring of the lines. Amazon have successfully managed to confuse things with their very popular AWS products. While their S3 service is a PaaS product, their EC2 service is sold and commonly referred to as a IaaS product.  However there are a number of proprietary tools and calls that you must use which many argue makes it a PaaS product too.

Whatever your views (and there are many), Dogsbody Technology can help you understand what is right for you and your business.  If you have any questions regarding this post or suggestions for articles on more subjects then please do comment below or drop us a line.

Buzzword Bingo

As happens when you are a company registered on social media sites we occasionally get sent invites to advertise on their networks. We’ve always been proud to receive most of our business via referrals and word of mouth but when LinkedIn offers you $100 of free advertising it seems silly to say no. The results turned out to be an interesting window into the words and phrases that are popular at the moment.

When creating adverts online it’s always a good idea to run more than one advert at once, you can then run them for a bit and keep modifying the one that’s doing the worse. After a while you end up with some adverts that are pretty well tuned for the people you want to attract. We didn’t bother modifying any ads this time as it was a short ad run but we did create a number of different ads with slightly different wording.

(Quick side note: When running ads it’s always a good idea to link them to your websites analytics. Not just to separate out the traffic to your site but to link that traffic to actual contacts/sales etc. Surely it’s better to get 100 clicks to your site where 10 become customers than get 10000 clicks and 1 customer. Especially when you are paying by the click!)

To keep things easy we set a maximum spend of $10 per day and ran all of the ads below for 10 days…

Advert Clicks Impressions CTR
Cloud ComputingLet us show you how to get the most from powerful Amazon AWS services. 51 162168 0.031%
Electronics & AutomationIntegrate your website with the real world. The ideas are endless. 1 10451 0.010%
VMwareWe can help you adopt a Virtualisation solution that is right for you. 1 10552 0.009%
Amazon AWSLet us show you how to get the most from powerful Cloud Computing services. 3 40700 0.007%
SysAdminLet us worry about the system administration of your server. 0 12724 0.000%
VirtualisationWe can help you adopt a VMware solution that is right for you. 0 10403 0.000%

As you can see, the Cloud Computing and Amazon AWS ads are identical with the words swapped. The same is true for the VMware and Virtualisation adverts.

What does all this mean?

The Impression Count is the number of times that LinkedIn users have been show each advert. LinkedIn decide when to show your advert and while you can pay more money to “bid” to a higher position it is linked to the text in the page that LinkedIn is showing to the user. It is therefore safe to say that LinkedIn treat the title of your ad as more important that the text (Ads with the same overall text had very different impression counts).

CTR stands for Click Through Rate, how many and what percentage of the people that saw the ad actually clicked on it. As you can see the numbers are low but at $2 per click the money goes down fast.


Based on all the above we can make the following statements about the popularity of certain buzzwords:

  • A lot more people are talking about Cloud Computing than Virtualisation. This was quite surprising to us. While Cloud Computing is the buzzword du jour Virtualisation is the pin that runs it and for the swing to be so unbalanced is slightly unnerving.
  • “Cloud Computing” is bigger than “Amazon AWS”. this makes sense, it’s a subset. AWS is just one vendor of cloud computing services.
  • “VMware” is more popular than “Virtualisation”. no, wait, what!? A very interesting find. I don’t think anyone would argue that VMware is one of the biggest players in the Virtualisation market but for it to be bigger is interesting.
  • Advertising on LinkedIn is expensive! $100 for 56 clicks to our website. Lets just say we are glad it was a free trial and we don’t need to heavily advertise 🙂

I realise the sample numbers on this were low. We would love to hear if you have any other statistics to back this up or blow us out the water. Feel free to comment below.