Head in the Clouds

I've been doing a lot of thinking about Cloud Computing lately.  This was sparked, in large part, by Symantec's internal engineering conference, Cutting Edge, as well as a number of things I've been reading.  Cloud Computing is shaping up to be one of the "next big things" that we are all going to be hearing a lot about over the next couple of years.  In fact, Microsoft just announced "Azure," their cloud computing services platform.

Microsoft Azure is positioned to bring cloud computing to the development masses.  Anyone will be able to write cloud-aware applications and run them hosted in Microsoft's data centers.  Consider the consequences:

In the past, when you have chosen which software to purchase, one factor in your decision has certainly been whether or not you trust the software vendor.  You wouldn't install an application on your home desktop or laptop unless you trusted the folks who wrote the software.  Cloud computing adds another twist to this.  As cloud computing grows in popularity more platforms like Azure appear.  In the end, the majority of cloud-based applications will store their data (YOUR data) in the data centers of only a few large corporations.  In this case, you have to worry not only about whether or not you trust the software writers but also whether or not you trust the corporation who will ultimately be storing your data.  Will it be stored securely?  Will they do a good enough job protecting it?  The number of incidents of credit card theft from corporate data centers of the last few years is enough to give anyone concerns.

Software vendors will need to grapple with the same types of decisions as they decide which platform to build their cloud-based applications on.

So, as it turns out, cloud computing's most compelling feature (the ability to access your data anywhere, at any time, from any device) also introduces trust and privacy issues on a massive scale.

I'm hoping to do a lot more writing about cloud computing so let me know what you think.  What excites you about cloud computing?  What worries you?  What applications do you want to see in the cloud? Which would you rather see stay rooted on the desktop?

I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say and responding.

Message Edited by Sondra_Magness on 11-13-2008 02:36 PM


Re: Head in the Clouds

I read somewhere about it, and there people had the same worries. But there were some ideas too: like if I want to play a really PC killer game on an older PC too, than the server can make all the background computing for me, and I can play HALO 45 on a P3 :D. BUT! What's with the internet speed. By us (Hungary) the most download speeds are OK (1024k, 2048k, 4096k,...etc), but it will die by the upload speed (with a 4MB down you get 256k up.... :S). And I think if we wanna do anything with cloud computing we need better internet speeds. (I don't know how it's in other countries, but think it's almost the same.) So first of all better netspeed, than we can think about clouds...
The other one people talked about is using ie. MS Word 2346 (:D :D) by Clouds... I think some apps doesn't need this tech, like Office apps.... They are not so havy... I think when you want to use this tech, you want to use it with pc killing apps (premier pro, 3d apps, games, cads).
By the data protection I think it's always better if you have a pendrive (USB-stick, or how it's in eng :P :D), and you will have all the data with you which are imprtant at the moment... OK storing it on a webserver is more easier, but not everywhere is internet...
I think this technology should to use for make people's computers more compativble to use the really havy apps too. I mean sometimes it's enough for the pc (older ones, which are mostly in the business sector) to run the OS (like Vista), and the other softwares just kill it, and slows really much your work....

ps: I hope I was clera enoug :P I'm a little bit tired at the moment :D :D :D
Windows 10 Hungarian, Norton Internet Security v22.9.0.71

Re: Head in the Clouds


Thanks for the comment. You are on the right track here. Obviously we don't have enough network bandwidth to play cutting edge games where the rendering is being done in the cloud, but the concept of doing heavy computation in the cloud is very attractive and is a key benefit of cloud computing.

For instance, if you wanted to talk 3D graphics applications for cloud computing you could envision a cloud app that does the animation rendering for a 3D movie. You deploy the rendering engine in the cloud and then when the animators are ready for the final animation of their segments they send their requests to the cloud service and the rendering is done for them. Since this process doesn't have to be real time it is well suited for the cloud. An additional benefit is that as the animation team grows you can easily scale up your own rendering infrastructure by paying your cloud hosting service (Amazon, Microsoft Azure, etc) for additional instances of your rendering engine.