The cloud advantage - The New Indian Express

The cloud advantage

Published: 29th July 2013 12:00 AM

Last Updated: 27th July 2013 10:13 AM

Research firm IDC predicts that cloud-related IT jobs will touch 2.3 million in Asia Pacific by the end of 2015 at an annual growth rate of 32 per cent. The best take home for India is that the cloud computing market here is expected to grow by 70 per cent this year. Horacio González-Vélez, head of Cloud Competency Centre at National College of Ireland, spoke to edex about the latest in the field. Excerpts...

Academically, what are the key areas students here can leverage?

I strongly believe India is placed at the forefront of cloud computing in academic terms. Moreover, India is set to become a global magnet for top cloud talent. While Western governments are still considering shifts to cloud computing, the Indian government has announced a National Cloud to migrate its critical IT infrastructure. Apparently, each of the 28 states and seven union territories will eventually have a private cloud, potentially creating an unprecedented demand for cloud-savvy professionals and managers.

What kind of cloud computing research is being done at National College of Ireland?

We actively participate in the €3.5 million ParaPhrase Project, supported by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development — the EU’s main instrument for funding research (www.paraphrase-ict.eu).

The project brings together experts from academic institutions and industry specialists across six European countries. Having commenced in October 2011 and set to run for three years, our ParaPhrase-specific research involves academics and researchers of parallel and cloud computing from the Cloud Competency Centre.

The project is looking to exploit high performance computers effectively to support modern demands for computing power in the home and industry, maximising the speed of processors working together ‘in parallel’ to give peak performance.

Do you have students from Asia?

We are very fortunate to have a substantial number of students from Asia, and specifically from India. In fact, our top performing students in MSc Cloud Computing this year are Indians, a true testament to IT skills of Indian students. I worked for a number of years in systems engineering and product marketing for Silicon Valley companies such as Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems. I learnt that Indian engineers were capable in technical matters and, most certainly, impossible to beat in spicy food contests!

Cloud computing has its own share of security concerns. What is your assessment of these concerns?

Since cloud computing has become a big-time buzz word, people will continue having concerns about cloud security. As a single data breach or incident could lead to significant risk, cloud-based solution vendors do their utmost to protect the data by not only providing latest firewalls and high levels of redundancy but they also ensure multiple layers of defence that any average firm can never have. So, skills in cloud security management are going to be much sought after.

What entrepreneurial opportunities are available in the field of cloud computing?

India will increasingly come to different crossroads to embrace entrepreneurship locally. Organised by IEEE, the Cloud Computing in Emerging Markets conference attracted distinguished personalities to Bangalore last November. While energy and ICT infrastructure will need additional improvement, business interaction and entrepreneurship could greatly benefit from  correct adoption of the technology.

Does cloud computing has an ecological impact?

According to the 2011 Environmental Paper Network Report, global paper consumption is growing. So one can hardly contend that the world is becoming paperless. On the other hand, the challenges and difficulties of “green cloud computing” concern computing specialists, but finding out why these exist and what we can do to solve them has practical applications in every day technology for individuals, businesses and industry.

— bharath@newindianexpress.com

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