By Sramana Mitra and guest author Shaloo Shalini
SM: The Akamai algorithm works by optimizing the routing of Akamai traffic in a way that is the fastest and with the lowest possible latency, which creates the advantage of those private infrastructures. So, there is a benefit to your data being closer as opposed to traveling around the world, right? But it has to be transferred around the world.
SB: Oh, yes, there is a benefit to latency. But there is no additional telecom charge.
SM: That is true. There is latency but no telecom charge.
SB: There is a latency issue, no doubt. If you were to access an Indian data center, your minimum latency will be approximately four milliseconds, whereas in accessing a U.S. data center that four goes to 60 milliseconds. If you are doing a time-sensitive application, that is a massive amount of latency.
SM: Yes. The cost is really in terms of the time taken.
SB: Learning management systems (LMS) and e-mail are both systems or applications that aren’t as greatly affected by latency.
SM: Right. These applications are not time critical, so you can put them on a public cloud that has a U.S.-based data center. That is not an issue. Let me probe deeper into what you just said about using an Indian software vendor, an LMS vendor that is putting in its software and letting you use it over the Amazon public cloud. How much adoption of this model do you see in India? Are a lot of Indian software vendors, especially the newer software vendors that are using this kind of configuration, coming up with business applications that are delivered through the Amazon public cloud or another public cloud?
SB: I have seen a lot of new software vendors in Chennai and Bangalore that deal with such configurations. Chennai especially seems to be a hotbed of such activity. There is a company that I know that provides back-up solutions based on Amazon Cloud Infrastructure. There is yet another company that has introduced us to their offering – a business management solution in the cloud; I think it is based on the Google cloud technology.
SM: Is it OrangeScape?
SB: Yes, it is OrangeScape. There is a lot of activity in startups in cloud adoption. For startups, it is very easy to use Amazon clouds. I have done small experiments on putting up my own website on the Amazon cloud, and it takes minutes and charges me just pennies. I have done an experiment related to content management for a couple of hours, and it cost me 1.12 [cents]. So for startups, the cloud is quite a godsend, actually.
SM: What is your perspective as a customer of these startups? Are you using some of these startup’s offerings, say, their backup solutions?
SB: No. We do not use cloud-based back up. For our kind of volume, the cost in bandwidth will be too much for a cloud-based solution. We need to use private backups for our requirements.
SB: If you were to use a public cloud–based backup solution, the amount you will pay in Internet value is just too high for someone with the kind of volume such as we have. That is why we don’t use it, but for many other choices we wouldn’t mind doing it in the clouds. Our LMS, for instance, contains all our lessons and training material, which is about 200–300 GB of data in the clouds. For this data we have Excelsoft, the company that provides LMS software, and they give us backup for the same data. We are considering buying OrangeScape’s [solution], and that will continue to be in the cloud.
SM: What are you going to do to with OrangeScape? What kind of applications are you planning to build with Orange Scape?
SB: Well, OrangeScape’s solution is geared toward building business process-flows. It deals with business process management and flow control solutions. It also provides two-way flows along with basic workflows for, say, loan approvals and other such processes. That is what we are looking to build with OrangeScape. At present, we have challenges with building our process workflow because our environment at IndiaInfoline is primarily .NET based, but OrangeScape is not yet fully .NET enabled. We are still struggling with how to integrate with OrangeScape’s solution and all of those aspects of solution adoption. But I would say that a lot of these application vendors, which are harnessing the power of the cloud to deliver their solutions, they come to us now, meet us, and they seem to be quite comfortable in proposing a solution in the cloud, especially the Amazon cloud. As a brand, Amazon seems to have quite a bit of top-of-the-mind recall within the Indian software industry, especially with these new solution providers.
SM: Amazon is the one that has been around the longest and has created the most noise. So, yes, it has a huge mindshare among independent software vendors (ISVs) that are looking at the cloud as a delivery solution.
SB: Yes. The Amazon cloud is simple to use, the interface works brilliantly, and it integrates very well.