Cloud Computing: Facing the Reality by Ashwini Rath

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Kharagpur: Technologies and computing have always ruled my world. Right from my Engineering days, I was always fascinated by the power of technology. Whether it’s science or fiction, as long as someone narrates it in an interesting way, I am always game for it. Nothing fascinates me more than a good story.

Recently I got a chance to read an interesting book on “Cloud Computing” by Ashwini Rath.

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it” ~ Toni Morrison

I think the book “Cloud Computing – Facing the Reality” is the outcome of the sheer desire of Mr. Rath to come with this book. Initially, I was a tad paranoid about picking up the book but the blurb got my attention: “The ground realities for adoption of cloud computing and the relevant technologies have been presented with anecdotes, historical perspectives and contemporary research findings”. These were interesting words and it really compelled and excited me to read it.

The book starts with a bang – data for Google search results for the phrase “Cloud Computing”. To my amazement, it returns about 129,000,000 results. The first couple of page was enough to awake my interest.

The book is written based on reality and in-depth experience rather than hype, buzz words, or the latest technological jargons. Mr. Rath’s strength comes from his many years of experience in SOA , semantic web and cloud computing. This book gives you a good road map and the content is easily understood. It does not matter if you are a CEO, an IT professional or a student; the take away is an insightful understanding of Cloud Computing in general and for the Enterprise in particular.

Mr. Rath has written a book that is both practical as well as educational. He has managed to bring the extremely challenging topics of “Cloud Computing” in a way that is both accessible and useful for both technical and general people. This book is a fantastic read for anyone who is serious about Cloud Computing. In addition, the informal writing style of the author makes the information more accessible to a wide range of readers.

I agree with the author’s description of his book that,” This book is not just about Cloud Computing but also about the new world of opportunities that come in our way with cloud computing”.

Mr. Rath uses a simple style to deliver his message, which makes the books acceptable to nontechnical people as well. I would not think twice to suggest this book to my friend or a CEO with a non-technical background.

The book does a good job of covering the complex issues associated with Cloud Computing – indeed step by step with clear explanation of Service Models, Deployment Models and their benefits in the long run. It is an easy read and one would surely be impressed at the depth of the content and how it is particularly insightful to get a clearer picture on requirements and implementation.

The book guides readers with methodical approach of using cloud computing, while also doing a great job explaining everything from the very basics to the more complex and sophisticated topics. For instance, Service Models like Saas,Paas and IaaS are skillfully explained with relevant examples. The deployment models are explained thoroughly with both word & picture. The book covers a wide variety of concepts and techniques, putting them in context. In fact, the author demonstrates a terrific abundance of skill & real world experience while explaining an idea via examples & diagrammed models.

This book will help both business and technical leaders and decision makers to better adopt “the cloud” by viewing it as one facet of an overall architectural strategy.

The book covers a wide variety of concepts and techniques, putting them in context. He cites Salesforce.com, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 as examples of companies and how they leverage cloud computing to provide “innovative, cutting-edge products and services.

I would urge everyone to read this book before starting on a cloud computing project. I sincerely believe that most businesses and people just dive right into cloud computing without any architectural forethought. Clearly, that is a big mistake. One must know and understand the concept of Cloud Computing before using that for the business.

The book contains many diagrams that are refined and effective for CEOs and IT developers to get a clear comprehension of Cloud Computing in small to medium enterprise wide solutions. In this book, Mr. Rath does that rarest of things: Explaining the entire cloud concept in very lucid way and using current products such as Amazon Web Service (IaaS) or Google App Engine (PaaS) as practical examples.

This is no heavy tome extolling the virtues of cloud computing, but a brief yet clear look at the technology over 106 odd pages divided into seven chapters. The language is simple and free-flowing, and little touches like the story of Moghul King Aurangzeb in chapter 7 and how that is related to latest security issues add value to the experience.

Personally speaking, one thing I would have liked included would be a case study on Cloud Computing.

The Author, Mr. Rath has done a good work writing this book and has ensured the topic could be enjoyed by the widest possible audience. The reading gets interesting with each chapter.

All these things are explained, or to be specific, shown so beautifully that it makes the reader know everything without getting any difficulty, easily. This is the part, which really fascinated me to the core. A perfect example for, “Show, don’t tell” – the golden rule of writing a book.

Whether you are wondering what this hype & hoopla on cloud computing is all about, or are already convinced about its power to produce a desired effect but want to know more about implementing in your organization or for personal use, this book can help you take the right steps.

That being said, “Cloud Computing- Facing the reality” is a welcome change. Mr. Rath has certainly broken a barrier in Indian Technological writing. I’ve always enjoyed books with multiple hues: too many things explained around a single concept and making it easy for the reader to know the benefit of that concept. To that extent it doesn’t disappoint.

If you are looking to get educated on cloud computing, or how to get the maximum benefit out of it: Pick it up. You might be amused. Priced attractively at $18.95, “Cloud Computing- Facing the reality” is strongly recommended.

(The book review has been done by Sanjay Kumar, a student doing MBA from VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur and can be contacted at sanjay.vgsom@gmail.com)

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