Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Will 3G & LTE Accelerate the Cloud Computing Adoption Rate?

Mobile Asia Congress, Hong Kong November 17-18, 2010 - Peter Chou, CEO of fast-growing Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC, used his keynote at Congress to explain:

"Cloud computing will play a critical role in the smartphone experience. As the mobile becomes more powerful we can’t store everything on the device; we need the cloud."

He pointed to the launch of HTC's new service as an example of how its smartphones can leverage the power of cloud computing. In the same Congress, Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of NTT Docomo, emphasized on the cloud computing services.


With the launch of 3G services in India & revolutionary LTE in USA - will this accelerate the Cloud Computing adoption rate?

With Android becoming ubiquitous & driving down the handset prices – number of smart-phone users will soon reach critical mass in emerging economies like India, China, Brazil, Russia etc. Let us check the opinions of a few of the leading technology experts in Indian Cloud Service Arena. The following content is based on the opinion shared exclusively with Techno-Pulse…

Disclaimer: I am NOT associated with any of the companies mentioned here.

Here you go:

[Opinions published in the order they were received]

Suresh-Sambandam-CEO-OrangeScape Suresh Sambandam - Founder & CEO of OrangeScape, a pioneer Platform as a Service(PaaS)

The only Indian company listed in research reports of Gartner and Forrester on PaaS. OrangeScape's patent pending rule engine based PaaS platform enables entrepreneurs to build scalable SaaS based business applications easily.

Yes, anything that can improve the connectivity is going to further the adoption rate of 'Cloud Computing' - there is no doubt. 3G looks like a promise if it can reach beyond the Tier 1 and Tier 3 cities down to the villages. B2C apps will flourish with increased connectivity especially with 60crore + mobile connection in India. Another enabling factor for this to work with be smart-Phone percolation. I believe Android based phones will hit the $100 price band very soon. Smart-Phones and 3G together will catapult the cloud computing adoption.

Kishore-Impel-CRM Narasimhan (Kishore) Mandyam - CEO of PK4, a company that delivers a SaaS Impel CRM for India.

Started as a developer at Infosys in 1986, Kishore has built and run companies in software services and in products in India and the US. Prior to PK4 he has lead many successful ventures viz. Ampersand, Aprisa & zeroCode. In 2006, he co-founded PK4 with the objective of changing the way traditional software is built and sold. Impel CRM is the first large software system from that effort. Kishore is an Electrical Engineer from UVCE, Bangalore.

Absolutely it will accelerate Cloud Computing. The Cloud and SaaS are going to be much more about the Mobile than about the Desktop, so the wider the pipe is at that end, the more users can do with mobile devices. And that will in turn give rise to a whole lot of Services in domains that one would not have thought of – healthcare, eGovernance, etc.

The big change on the side of providers like us is that we now have to build for smaller and smaller screen-sizes. That forces us to be minimalist, in a way – something Enterprise software developers are not used to. IMHO, the companies that recognize and embrace this (among other things) will come out ahead quicker.

Sahil-CEO-DeskAway Sahil Parikh - Founder & CEO of DeskAway a Cloud based Project Collaboration & Management software. He is the Author of The SaaS Edge 

Sahil has been involved with the web since the last 10 years. He is passionate about the fusion of design & technology and that of building scalable web businesses.

I think cloud computing adoption comes through a change in mindset - basically, dispelling common myths related to the adoption of SaaS - control, learning curve, cost, security etc. 3G will obviously help getting a faster pipe to the data and a better experience on mobile phones. What we need is a better and deeper broadband penetration.

Wolf-Director-Sunny-Ghosh Sunny Ghosh - Director Wolf Frameworks, a browser based On Demand Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for rapidly designing and delivering database driven multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.

Sunny is responsible for developing & evangelizing the business model embedded inside the WOLF Platform. A COBOL, RPG, CL programmer by origin, with strong career foundation with Motorola, Sunny started his career in the Telecom domain & holds an honors degree in Mathematics with specialization in Competitive Product Strategies, Intellectual Capital & Software Business Management from NSRCEL, IIM-Bangalore. A voracious reader, core committee member of the prestigious CII - Knowledge Management Community of India, he has published series of papers on how Digital edge empowers large Diasporas & communities, “Mobilizing knowledge management towards digital rights” in assistance from World Bank & UNPAN and dreams of a world filled with choice, service, freedom and optimism.

One of the defining characteristics of Cloud Computing is its device and location independence. Cloud Computing relies primarily on the existence of services and data on the internet rather than individual devices, providing on-demand access. Both 3G and LTE will play a pivotal role in carrying Cloud Computing beyond the early adopter market into the mainstream.

Using the internet as a backbone, telecommunication providers will leverage the Cloud to offer a range of services to their customer base. Thus, services come closer to the consumer and provide a higher level of accessibility than ever before. In the future, we see a fundamental shift in the consumption of these services – primarily on hand-held devices – mobiles, tablets, etc. – rather than PCs.

The natural consequence of this is the movement of Cloud services from a consumption model to a production model.

 How 3G & LTE is going to change the Cloud landscape? Do share your views…

Cloud Computing Articles & Interviews at Techno-Pulse

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What can IRCTC Learn from redBus Cloud Implementation?

Every day n number of individuals, sitting somewhere in the world or standing in serpentine queues, battle to reserve berth in the world’s 4th largest railway network - ferrying 20+ million passengers daily.

What happens at IRCTC website - one of the largest B2C websites in India?

Peak Hours at IRCTC During Tatkal Booking follows
[Image Sequence – From Left to Right || Clip Art Credit - Microsoft Office Online]
IRCTC-Alarm Wakeup IRCTC-eTicket-Tatkal-Booking
IRCTC-Tatkal-Message Clock8IRCTC-eTicket-Try2 MM900284000[1]
ajax-loaderScr1 IRCTC-eTicket-Try4  MM900336537[1]
IRCTC-Service-Unavailable-Error Clock-8-30  MM900282753[1]
IRCTC-eTicket-Regret IRCTC-Server-Unavailable1
Everyday the above sequence is repeated with clockwork precision

Director Consulting - BroadVision (Asia-Pac Region) - the company which looks after IRCTC website - informs:
“…The bookings & enquiry requests are 6-7 times higher during the peak hours than the rest of the day. So while the existing infrastructure is well equipped to handle the daylong traffic, it is the peak hour traffic that clogs servers…

What is IRCTC’s current peak hour traffic?

As per this Medianama report, IRCTC had a total (successful + failed) of 10.8 million transactions in the month of August 2010. A little Arithmetic & it can be derived that it is approximately 7 transactions/second.
Now consider the following multiplication factor:
7x i.e. the peak hour traffic
Total number of transactions during peak hours = 7 * 7
49 transactions/second
Though it’s NOT fair to compare IRCTC with Google yet for a  stats conscious reader, transaction per second numbers are as follows:

Please Note: IRCTC has a locking algorithm i.e. one seat can’t be allotted to two individuals while Google can share the same information to multiple users.
IRCTC  [peak hour]
                      49                   34,000

What will happen after 5 years?

2015 Statistics projects the number of Internet users increase to almost 5 fold. [Source: McKinsey Quarterly – Sept 2010]

Nandan Nilekani - Chairman of UIDAI; in an interview published in TOI  on Dec 26; 2010 informs:
“… Number of Bank a/c holders in India is 20%. … A large number of Indians don’t have acknowledged existence (No identity) … UIDAI is targeting 600 million Aadhaar numbers in next 4 yrs … every Indian should have this number by 2020…”

Fast economic growth & ongoing implementation of UID (Aadhaar) project may lead to explosive growth in number of Bank Accounts, Credit/Debit card in rural India. Mr Nilekani informs, considering the pace of enrolments for Aadhaar, there is a very real possibility that the number of bank accounts issued in the next four years will exceed the number of accounts banks have issued since India's independence.

Also add the following direct/indirect contributors to IRCTC traffic:

Web savvy - Facebook generation - now in school - will grow up to become active netizens.
IRCTC 2015 normal hour traffic > 2010 peak hour traffic

Is Indian Railway & IRCTC prepared for the day when the Internet is accessible to even 50% of the following?

Interestingly, the 5 fold increase in number of Internet Users is just 28% of the population. Currently, US, UK, Japan & a few other countries boasts 75%+ Internet penetration.


Optional Info: Until the number of trains/seats increases dynamically based on demand, there’s no guarantee that you would get a seat. With automated systems in place Indian Railways can initiate some extensive study on the IRCTC traffic pattern. Though the physical infrastructure on the ground (staff, track, signal etc) may prove a bottle neck yet I think trains/seats vis-a-vis number of passengers can be optimized.
Here I am trying to figure out how to provide a better user experience.

Barring Agent Login during peak hours?

Recently IRCTC has resorted to this myopic solution to reduce the server load during peak hours. Though it has made the difference, yet I think this is an un-democratic, un-justified & a temporary solution.

redBus, a small start up – and the largest online bus ticket booking service, has shown vision in resolving the issue wisely.  They moved to a cloud based infrastructure provided by world’s leading IaaS provider Amazon. An excerpt from the case study at Amazon website:
“…The biggest problem was that the infrastructure could not effectively handle processing fluctuations, which had a negative impact on productivity. Additionally, the procurement of servers or upgrading the server configuration was an extremely time-consuming endeavor. Over time, redBus realized that a better solution was imperative—a solution that offered scalability to handle the company’s processing fluctuations. redBus looked to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a solution…”
Check the following Pre-Cloud & Post-Cloud Stats of redBus.
[Stats source: Forbes India. December 17, 2010 – Print Edition]

What’s the best & most Cost Effective Solution for IRCTC?

Public Cloud (IaaS). May be Yes as the data handled by IRCTC can not be categorized as confidential or sensitive.

What may prevent Indian Railways (IRCTC) to opt for public cloud?

Data in cloud can travel across national boundaries may raise a few security concerns. This free travelling of data may not be in sync with the existing law of the land.
Why can’t Indian Railways have its own Community Cloud? Considering its size & number of services it can offer – it may prove to be a wise decision & viable solution.

What do you think?

Cloud Articles at Techno-Pulse