Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What is Cloud Computing and Should the South Sound Care?

“The cloud represents a major technology shift that creates an entirely new business and technology ecosystem with new players, new models and new market leaders.”

Whoa. Then I guess we better pay attention.

That is at least what they are saying at the Cloud Summit Executive conference today held at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, California. As Information Week reported, “HP is betting big on cloud computing. Its $12 billion purchase of EDS shows that the company is serious about infrastructure as a service. So too does the HP, Intel, and Yahoo Cloud Computing Test Bed, announced in July, not to mention its recently formed Scalable Computing & Infrastructure Organization.”

But what is it?

BusinessWeek announced in an article about a year ago that “Computing Heads for the Clouds” and that IBM, Yahoo!, and Google were all putting the power of cloud computing to work. They included a primer but still….

What is it?

Of course you can turn to Wikipedia but I think that there description was written for people who already know what it is and understand its importance.

Luckily, I had the pleasure of hearing Aaron Kimball, Founder of Spinnaker Labs, give a talk about Cloud Computing; how it worked, why it was important and who was deploying it, at a WTIA board meeting. Aaron wrote an academic paper with Google on it as well, but primarily I liked the Powerpoint presentation because it was so accessible.

Well, Aaron is going to give a 30 minute presentation on Cloud Computing at the South Sound Technology Conference and then we are going to hear from folks in the area who are using it and where opportunities for innovation will be derived from.

If you are in the area of the South Sound and have a particular story you wish to tell, contact me and I will see if we can work it into the program.


scott1223 said...

Wow! That's amazing. I just read about it in Wikipedia.

That will change the way people interact with the 'Net (I won't call it the Web!!!).

izenmania said...

There is an interesting article with FSF founder Richard Stallman's views on cloud computing.

He brings up some good points on the problems with the cloud: it has the potential to be as bad or worse vendor lock-in than local proprietary software, and you are also fundamentally entrusting someone else with all your data, code, everything.

The second issue is why cloud computing will never knock off fixed servers. There are just too many security concerns. We already know that Google has software scanning every word of every message that comes through the Gmail servers. Companies are not going to want to feed mission-critical, secure data through a company like that.

There are some uses for the cloud, certainly, but the massive wave of adoption recently feels more like a fashion trend than a genuine technology revolution. It's a buzzword up there with Web 2.0 in its overuse.

Bekkah29 said...

As an aspiring computer scientist, this is exciting stuff for me! It puts into prospective the fact that what I'm learning now will need to evolve so much as technology grows! Long term wise, something like this would be striking as the next wave of technology and would literally change what my future career will be like.

I'll be honest though, I'm still asking the question, "what is it?". I'm looking forward to hearing Aaron's presentation at the conference! Should be interesting.