CloudViews 2011 – Cloud Computing & You

The CloudViews 2011 date is approaching. We have exciting news: Dr. Paolo Romano, a senior researcher of the Distributed Systems Group of INESC-ID will be giving a talk about the Cloud-TM project and recent results about data replication strategies.
Prof. Kate Keahey, a thought leader in the Cloud, fellow at the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory Computation Institute., will be also with us on November 4th giving a tutorial on Nimbus and talking about the future of Cloud Computing.

Is the Internet ready?

Cloud Computing is here; there isn’t a doubt about it. It has hit us all fast. Consumers seem to love it, and business tends to love everything Consumers like. But, and there is always a but (in this case there are several, but let us focus on this one), what about the Internet? Is the Internet ready? Everything in Cloud Computing, normally, presupposes on-line connectivity. Even music now is streamed instead of simple played. Do we have the needed bandwidth for all that? Especially in mobile devices? There are already several news around the world about ISP (Internet Service Providers) limiting their bandwidth or the amount of downloaded data because of the enormous increase of use. And what happens if we lose connectivity?

Microsoft in The Cloud

I have been reading a lot about Microsoft finally hitting The Cloud with Office 365. Well, I couldn’t disagree more with that vision. I am not a Microsoft fan, but the true is that Microsoft as always been around. Maybe not in the most brilliant way, not always with integrated products or solution, sometimes with multiple ones addressing the same problem, but definitely with Cloud products (e.g. FolderShare, Mesh, Skydrive). Additionally, Microsoft has the needed expertise for a long time (the updates services?). The only difference is that now, they have decided to professionalize it.  To, finally, build a business around it. Even the time for it, which many consider late when compared to other players, was, in my opinion, thoroughly choosed. Don’t forget that Microsoft in not only changing their business model, they are changing it for all their partner and, believe me, not all of them are adapting well to this new reality.

No to End Users

You may have already noticed in my previous posts that when talking about The Cloud I normally don’t use the “End User” branding. That’s because I don’t believe there are any in this new reality. In The Cloud world we only have Consumers. They can be individuals (developers, freelancers, lawyers, accountants, designers, architects, publishers, students, marketers, farmers, consultants, authors, filmmakers), institutions (charities, non-profits, universities), companies (manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, gymnasiums, airlines) or even the government, basically it can be everyone everywhere. No one that, realistically, wants to be a Cloud player can deliver “products” or “solutions” having in mind the traditional “End User”. No one knows  who his next client is going to be, who’s going to like that particular product and use it, who doesn’t likes it, but also uses it and  who’s not going to use it at all. Once again there is the need to be open minded, to drive business having anyone in the world as a possible client, to have Consumers in the equation and “End Users” out it.