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Some question on 'Cloud Computing'! is a Good idea? Why Do We Need It? Part 1   Some question on 'Cloud Computing'! is a Good idea? Why Do We Need It? Part 1
By Salar Golestanian @ 04 Feb 2011 :: Article Rating
 
'Cloud Computing' is what everyone is talking about it now. “Cloud Computing”, “Working in ‘The Cloud’”, “Move everything to ‘The Cloud’” Every day I hear some astronomical number being spent by super sized companies on Cloud computing like today Time Warner Cable Buys Enterprise Hosting And Cloud Services Company NaviSite For $230M. So i thought I do a little research to work out if it is needed? or not?

I also hear things like: "Cloud Computing" is the “next big thing” that everyone needs. The IT world couldn’t survive without this so called “next big thing”. So I thought I write this as my first blog on this topic and probably for the next one will try and be more positive.

Mostly the advocates of cloud computing have vested interest and their talk about benefits are fairly woolly and a rather weak business model like below:
  • Increased Revenue
  • Reduced Costs
  • Collaboration
  • Constant Iterative Updates
  • No Capital Expense
  • Remote Working
Above list are from typical marketing type sales literature that is not based on sound theories. In my own experience whilst I find the Amazon S3 pricing for bandwidth to be exceptionally good. But I find their CPU usage not so good. have a look here at Amazon calculator and you will find that compared to say equivalent mini-cloud at  1and1.com you will see that even Amazon is way too expensive. Azure is even more expensive.

I remember in 1970s it was all about the mainframe and “centralized computing”. The ’80s rolled around and the IBM PC and then Macs came into the world…  and everyone found their independence with their own computer on their desks. We therefore went to the world of “distributed computing”.  However, that proved to be too cumbersome. So there came the LAN and we could share data without having to carry floppy disks/media of some type from desk to desk. Then the internet revolution came and along with it increased connectivity. Although we have all changes we’re still living in a world of “distributed computing”.

“Cloud computing” is the new buzz term for “hosted services” or “offsite hosting”. Bottom line is that one’s data lives on someone else’s servers, in someone else’s data centre. Therefore,  some valid questions come up:

  1. Your data will be far from the people who use it
    Power users, & corporate data needs to be easy to access, fast and reliable. For optimal speed and reliability the rule has always been to keep data close to the people who use it most. Once data is taken offsite it will get slower because, not matter how much you spend, you’ll never be able to get wide-area or internet links as fast as local-area links. Also, when everything is offsite and your link goes down, you've suddenly lost access to aLL your data and your business is sitting idle.

  2. Your data will be controlled by others and may be hackers
    Locally hosted data usually resides on your own servers in your own data center. When it’s offsite you can never be entirely sure where it is and who is controlling it. The company you've hired to host it could very well be reselling someone else’s services. You become subject to the whims and issues of these companies. What happens if they go out of business? What If they’re taken over by a third party? If they decide to outsource part of their operation and have your data now hosted in someone else’s data center? I guess they will always have some small print to protect them. But when was the last time you read the full SLA of your ISP?

  3. Your data could be hosted overseas 
    This is especially an issue outside North America. Since to my knowledge, there are not many cloud vendors the rest of the worlds, the majority are in the United States. When your data is being stored in the United States, it puts your company under a fair bit of US legislation. Whilst the cloud is going to be controlled by US companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft etc.. , it is still likely to be in data-centers in India or China so the question is that do those local governments respect the privacy and confidentiality of your data?

  4. Shared resources mean shared risk
    The Cloud Data is usually stored on shared servers. This means that the servers with your data also contain data of your competitors. This can create all sorts of scenarios that I will discuss in details but some are obvious.

  5. If you ever fall out with one cloud provider
    how easy would it be to move to another? Currently it is not so easy. What happens when you decide to change to a different provider for reasons of price, reliability, support or whatever? Will you be able to get your data back out? Can you get it in a format you can use? For example, our sites are running on a DotNetNuke Content Management System and let us say we fall out and want to move to Amazon. I would say that there is a chance that it will not run on the Amazon Cloud.

  6. Increasing Broadband and bandwidth availability to Businesses
    The other problem I see with the fact that bandwidth availability to businesses and households are increasing. For example I had a broadband with 13 IP addresses to my house with 8 MB download and 1/2 mb upload speed for about 8 years. This week British Telecom increased the speed to 50 MB download and 10 MB upload at no extra cost. They are talking about 70 MB download and 15mb upload within a year.
For most organizations this kind of upload speed is completely acceptable to run their internet sites in-house. Running the Intranet in a medium size organization is never going to be feasible on the cloud anyway?

I agree that there are some sites or applications that need occasional high bandwidth or occasional high CPU usage. That means that yes there is definitely a case for Cloud technology. But I have a feeling that majority don’t need that requirement. So the races by companies like Time Warner Cable to have a piece of this ever fast expanding bubble full of air rather than a piece of a juicy cake.

Below you can see two perspective - one by SalesForce that I agree with because it suites large organizations with real need for managed cloud computing. but as I said 90% of people out there don't fit this video below. and the requirements are far more modest.




This example below is what I am talking about. IMHO 90% of the world out fits the video blow. and by looking at it, you will see what I mean. We don't need Cloud Computing. we might as well run our DotNetNuke, WordPress, nopCommerce etc... from our office or from home-office straight from your broadband connection.



I guess Larry Ellison of Oracle has a great perspective for Cloud Computing below. However, Larry hates CC because it potentially results in less Oracle licenses. Larry wants to vertically integrate everything. He wants you to buy the Hardware, OS, Database, middleware and apps from Oracle and install it in your own place and buy consulting which means cloud is not good for Oracle. Having said that - some of his comments are so true. 

I share his objections to the idea of how marketing professionals want to come up with jargons and definitions to make Cloud Computing attractive. Having said that, if Larry knows how to sell licenses in the world of network and computing by selling hardware, software and licenses to customers, and he also knows how to leverage cloud and get into partnerships with service providers and still be able to sell the licenses. This is is diffidently a good one to watch.


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About Scifiwood News Reviews and Blogs
These are various short and long News Articles, Reviews and Blogs by Salar Golestanian and employees of SalarO.com as well as contributors of Scifiwood.com. The subject matter are mixed topics with Pure Science to Science Fiction as well as general topics on Web Trends, Technology, Software Engineering genre, or whatever subject that can affect the convergence of today's technology with Science Fiction in any shape or form.  These Blogs and Reviews don't have commercial or corporate aspiration, so they are indeed completely independent views. Some of these entries may be short and just link you to the actual news or site that can expand further on the subject of interest.  In Phase II we plan to incorporate some Social Networking applications within the portal.