Written by: Craig Rode

In my last entry "Cloud computing: What’s the story?", I tried to differentiate between different types of ‘clouds’.  With the definition behind us, I want to try and describe some of the characteristics of a PaaS cloud, such as Microsoft’s Azure, and how they might be applicable to high tech.

The five major capabilities offered by PaaS and the potential uses in high tech include:

Scale web access- the ability to increase or decrease web roles depending on demand.  Companies who engage in e commerce would find this useful for sudden increases in traffic, caused by either seasonal shopping patterns or new exciting products.

Scale computing- the ability to increase computing power on demand.  Potential uses here could include solving massive FEA problems such as fluid dynamics in near real time, thus shortening their time to market and improving their products.

Multi-tenancy-  Multiple views of a single application or set of data, filtered based on credentials.  This could include having an engineering model in the cloud, and sharing it through the supply chain, but only giving certain views or subsets of information to members of the supply chain.  In fact, Microsoft and Siemens PLM showed a prototype of this at Siemens PLM world in Dallas in June.

Communication- The ability to rapidly set up (and take down) secure communications between and among companies without having to build separate rigid systems.  We’d expect this to be useful in high tech because the supply chain is so dynamic.

Near infinite storage-  There are lots of uses here, including the tons of PLM data that are associated with high tech products.  Other applications could include digital supply chain content, wherein movies, music, games, etc., are all delivered through the cloud.

It will be very interesting to watch over the next year or two, how these capabilities are picked up and leveraged by high tech companies.  Let me know if you think of more.

Craig Rode