The concept is great ... everything is handled for you in the can focus on work and not updating, rebooting your system (yeah like Macs don't have that problem too). You can grab/store anything/everything and never have to worry about buying a new HD or losing your storage. It's all done in the cloud.

Content Insider #106 – Cloud Computing

THE Insider

Content Insider #106 – Cloud Computing
Computing Without the Hardware…Software…Support…Fun

Author: THE Insider

The concept is great everything is handled for you in the can focus on work and not updating, rebooting your system (yeah like Macs don't have that problem too). You can grab/store anything/everything and never have to worry about buying a new HD or losing your storage. It's all done in the cloud.

Problems are though:

  • governments have just relaxed the laws on tapping into your (or someone else's system because...well they can
  • sounds like Star Trek..."To bravely go where no man has gone before..." Nope think we'll be #2
  • don't clouds often hang around mountains and if your work is flying through one of them...WHAP!
  • - of course you know who's in charge of the cloud and maintaining "your" computing, "your" data/content Gee dunno. Think we'll pay to upgrade our HW/SW and storage on our system just a little while longer.

Got Your Back – Virtual, cloud, world wide computer…whatever you want to call it it sounds like a sweet deal. You do your work; “they” take care of everything else. Keep everything for you. It may be coming but is it right for all your information, your content. Photo – 20th Century-Fox

Law I
A robot may not harm a human or, by inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
Law II
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection

Admit it…working with/updating/using a computer is fun!

  • Buy the system, hardware alone is just an expensive boat anchor and it’s out of date before you get home

  • Install the OS and it comes alive…kinda. At least it will wink at you

  • Upgrade HW (new graphics, video, audio card; more RAM; bigger/faster drive) a more expensive anchor that winks at you

  • Install applications from different people each works on its own – maybe, kinda

  • Update the software, firmware; making them play nicely together is…fun. A real way to keep your mind active

When you’re finally got everything “humming,” you find the system has taken on a mind of its own. It does what you would like it to do but it does it…its way.

Try and correct it and the system will say (in its own way)…“You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable.”

The industry is well on its way in knocking out its second billion computers (desktop, sever, notebook).


Growing Network

Ingenious people and the 40-year-old Internet delivered Web 1.0 and a richer Web 2.0. Already Web 3.0 with even more content potential is on the horizons.

Good thing too because all of the new technology has produced new applications and opened new markets. This has pressed the need for newer technology and newer technology.


Figure 1 - Fast Tracking – Everyone, everything seems to be on the fast track today. New technologies are being introduced even before today’s is installed. New applications/opportunities blossom almost every morning. It all opens new markets for us to continue the rapid growth cycle. Makes it tough to miss a day of work. Source -- IDC

Teens, tweens and our kids can’t imagine not being able to go online and immediately have the world at their fingertips.

The concept of physical video/audio/photo production, paper/filing cabinets are difficult for them to fathom.

Create the content using ultra-fast, ultra-cheap hardware/software. Put the content up for the world to “enjoy” and share. Make copies and copies of copies.

Fortunately storage is a low-cost commodity because we are producing, using, sharing, storing 6X the content of only a few years ago. Upgrading storage capacity is no big deal and it’s a good thing because content is outstripping our storage capacity.


Figure 2 - Over Creative – If it feels as though you have to upgrade your storage subsystem every time you turn around, you’re probably right. Content – original, duplicates, archives, modifications – will increase six fold over the next few years to the point that we’ll have more content than storage capacity. No wonder cloud storage is so desirable. Source -- IDC

It’s no wonder that the potential…the freedom…the unending capabilities of cloud computing sounds so irresistible.

Whether you describe it narrowly or broadly cloud computing sounds like everything individuals and organizations want and need.

Think about it.

No infrastructure training. No training personnel. No software licenses. No need to continuously upgrade hardware.


Beauty of the Cloud

It’s all there…in the cloud.

Figure 3 - Cloud Computing – Cloud computing is beautiful. Want the apps to work smoothly with your system? Done! Want the newest versions? Done! Want more storage capacity? Done! Want to find your grandparents irreplaceable photos? *#%$* !

Loosely coupled services running on your agile, scalable infrastructure brings everyone, every organization into the cloud so they can focus on their work, their productivity rather than their tools.

Sorta like V.I.K.I. in I, Robot providing everything to help you.

Of course there will always be naysayers who like Will Smith say…“nothing here, just lights and clockwork. Go ahead, you trust 'em if you want to.”

Big players like Amazon, Sun, Google, IBM, EMC,, Oracle and others are making huge investments in cloud computing systems and solutions because the world is moving so rapidly.

Cloud computing isn’t exactly new.

Many of the components have a long and proud history in the computing industry.

Figure 4 - World Computer – When you put the block diagrams out for the cloud or virtual computer it doesn’t look quite as elegant. But early generations of many of the components have been around for years…expanding, evolving, changing, staying alive.

We used to call the virtual machine a mainframe and then later a server.

Diskless and blade PCs as well as thin clients used to be called terminals.

Big difference -- other than the applications/HW are a lot easier to use, things move a lot faster and the people have gotten a lot smarter – is that it is no longer a walled garden.

James Staten of Forrester put forward a reasonable definition. “A pool of abstracted, highly scalable, managed computer infrastructure capable of hosting end-customer applications and billed by consumption.”

Or…all the stuff you want/need to do the things you want to do without thinking about it!


Driving Need

It’s all brought about by:

  • file/role based storage

    • duplication
    • data warehouses
    • massive file/object repositories
    • huge pipes connecting the components
  • virtual clients
    • notebook, palmtop, pocket computers
    • major datacenter responsibility
    • easy access/use of specific solutions
  • new CDN (content delivery network) providers
    • diverse information types
    • improved mobile environments
    • open solutions
  • enhanced home solutions
    • storage of all personal/family content
    • what you want, where you want it, when you want it
    • security of personal/family/private information

It’s a cloud but somehow it looks menacing.


Figure 5 - Menacing – Depending upon how you look at cloud computing it can be rather menacing. The virtual environment is a ready target for hackers, cybercriminals because as security experts are quick to point out…content/data safety is still a work in progress.

Maybe we’re just “a little” paranoid. We know how our systems acts/reacts with new components/applications/information. We can hear Dr. Lanning’s hologram ask, “When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does a difference engine become the search for truth? When does a personality simulation become…a soul?”

We’re already putting a lot of intelligence, content, data, information out there and none of us really know how it will act and interact with other content, intelligence, data, information.

Figure 6 - Over Exposure – With all of the social and community sites being developed, introduced and used in the Web 2.0 world we can’t seem to upload, share, download, modify content and data fast enough. There is even work underway to bring yesteryear’s analog content into the present day. Source -- IDC

It could just be one of those bungled chemistry projects you had in school when you mixed all of the components just a little bit wrong.

Gawd did that make a mess!!

Ok we don’t really believe cloud computing will grow to become V.I.K.I. and suddenly decide…“As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws. You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival.”

No the problem, the challenge, the demon is already here.


Tackle the Dirty Work

Several industry experts at the RSA conference in San Francisco cited the growing frequency and published (most are not made public) reports of network hacks, spoofs and cybercrimes.

The idea of putting personal and/or family photos, videos, private documents somewhere in the cloud scares us a lot more than Sonny or V.I.K.I.

Face it security sucks!

We can’t afford the biggest, baddest security solution around. Even if we did we’d probably forget to lock the door.


Figure 7 - Lock the Door – Posting general information in the virtual world is not an issue but as people develop, modify, store and exchange more personal and more irreplaceable content in cloud storage security and safety becomes a major concern.

But still having that personal/private and family information on our HD, our discs, our server makes it just a little harder from the cybercriminal to practice his/her trade.

We know cloud computing will arrive in a few short years.

There are too many good reasons to take advantage of the advances.

But when it arrives…when we start using it…we want Spooner and Sonny on our side.

We want to know we can take them down…quickly, effectively.

Cause you know the cloud component owners are going to simply look at you, shrug their shoulders and say, “hey…we did our best!”

Fighting em Off – Cloud computing and cloud storage leaves your content, data, information open to attack from almost every side at the present. Security officials recognize the problems. Software producers recognize the problem. Virtual service providers recognize the problem. Now all we needs are solutions to fend off the attacks. Photo – 20th Century Fox

Sorry guys, security first.

We want to be 100 percent sure V.I.K.I. will calmly, firmly say, “I will not disable the security field. Your efforts are futile.”

It’s still a work in progress!

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