Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tech Talk - Cloud Computing

ISiM’ians were challenged to the Cloud 20/20 – Student Technical Paper Contest by the visiting team from Unisys, Bangalore. The challenge was put forth during their ‘Tech Talk’ at the ‘ISiM Lecture hall – 1’ on Friday, 6th of November 2009.

The event started on time. The itinerary of the program was as given below.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Introduction to Unisys & its India careers
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM - Seminar on cloud computing & Unisys Secure Cloud
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM - Cloud 20/20 -Online Technical Paper Contest
4:30 PM - 4:50 PM - Quiz on Cloud computing & prize distribution
4:50 PM - 5:00 PM - Q & A Session and Refreshments

The event started of with Jayanth introducing the two guests – Mr. Tarun Bhool and Mr. Shivaram Venkat to the audience. The audience comprised mostly of the students of International School of Information Management.

Mr. Shivaram was the first speaker. He started his address with an introduction of Unisys and it’s operations in India. He pointed out that Unisys Corporation is a 136-year old global leader, providing Information Technology services and programs. It provides a portfolio of IT services, application software, and technology consulting that solves critical problems for business and governments in protecting their assets and improving their operational efficiencies. The heat was turned on when the discussions started on “Cloud Computing”. Mr. Shivaram explained the concept of the cloud and the various modes of operation on cloud. He particularly emphasized on three models,

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a service and
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a service.

Then he went on to explain how SaaS can help the user (especially the Small-Medium companies) cut down their cost on investment on purchasing software. PaaS is the concept of hosting the entire desktop on the cloud. Answering a query, he suggested that the PaaS model was different from VPN in the sense that it is much more secure and its scalability is high. IaaS is yet again a boon for the small-medium corporates who can use the IT infrastructure on a rental basis for a specified time. The speaker also pointed out that as a pilot project, mailboxes of all Unisys employees are hosted on cloud.

The discussion was full of queries by the audience seeking clarification on most of the aspects of cloud computing. Most of the questions were on the credibility and legality of the technology. Many among the audience questioned the data security of hosting one’s information over a shared cloud. Some others questioned about the ownership of the data that resides on the cloud. Few others questioned if the legal systems across the world are ready to accept this technology.

The speaker opined that currently the technology is in its nascent stages and that these issues are being debated worldwide and solutions were being created as we speak. He was also posed with concerns regarding the connectivity and performance of cloud hosted services. The speaker was opinion that these were real threats but however was optimistic that these issues would be addressed as the technology evolves.

Mr.Chidananda and Mr.Jahfar interacting with Mr. Shivaram
After the intriguing debate on cloud computing, it was time for the ‘challenge’. Mr. Tarun was the next speaker. He started off with an insight into Cloud 20/20 – Student Technical Paper Contest 2010. Mr. Tarun then proceeded on to a quiz on ‘Cloud Computing’.

Mr. Tarun turns quizmaster and Pavan get a prize.
After the quiz session, Jayanth presented the vote of thanks. The event concluded with a round of applause for the guests for putting up a great show.