Cloud Computing

(“Our goal is to have every company run all of their businesses and all of their applications on top of our technology infrastructure platform,” AWS chief Andy Jassy told CNBC earlier this month.) Does that paint a target on Amazon’s back?

I thought the purpose of cloud computing was to reduce risk. Does having one major provider really seem smart to you?

Are public clouds really safer than private data centers?


I've lived through the evolution of computer networking from a centralized model, to a LAN based model, now to this so called cloud based model.

In the centralized model, roughly the 1970s for me personally, but actually goes back even further than that, we have a central computer that is the brains of it all. There is no "intelligence" at the local "dumb terminal."  It's called a dumb terminal because there is no computing power sitting in front of you, just an input device such as a keyboard, and an output device such as a monitor. If the terminal loses its connection to the main computer, it becomes dumb, it cannot do anything.  All the work is done at the central location.

In the LAN (local area network) the computer in front of you is called a workstation, because it can actually do work locally.  There is a storage device such as a hard drive, and a computing device such as a central processing unit (CPU) in the box in front of you. You can do all your work locally, on the box in front of you, and when you have completed that work, you can save the work "to the network" on a server located somewhere else. I started working with the Novell operating system which introduced many small businesses to the concept of computer networking and the LAN, back in the 1980s.

For a few decades, there was the power to the people, with more and more "work" done locally on the computer in front of you, and more files stored on local serve.  Computer networks became decentralized. After Y2K with many cost cutting programs in place, many IT departments looked at how to save money, and things started moving away from a very decentralized model to a more centralized model.  As technology improved, and strategies such as virtualization evolved, the need for servers scattered throughout an enterprise were moved to smaller but more power devices at a central location.

Now comes the buzzword of the cloud. Now those servers at my location are moving to "the cloud."  That simply means even larger more powerful devices at a central location shared not only by my enterprise, but by many others.,

The cloud offers the "security" of my information stored on a super secure server that I don't have to worry about.  It offers me, as in the local IT department. less worries because someone else maintains the server so that is less I need to worry about, correct? Well, maybe.

Less worries, less need for the local IT department right? So what happens now if the "network goes down" as in we lose an internet connection?  No one can do any work. That's progress, back to the future with a the issues we had with a centralized model. Perhaps, in some ways.  Companies that went into cloud are now thinking about a hybrid model with a mix of cloud based solutions with some type of local backup.  Go figure.

There has been one constant over my years in IT, end users.  Most support issues have been in supporting end users and their devices. Educating end users in how to use applications. Help end users in resetting usernames and passwords.  Repairing devices that someone spilled their coffee on, or broke because some one sat on it.

So now we have this "internet of things" which means more devices. And with more devices, what happens next?  More end user problems.



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What is cloud computing? The concept of hosted applications

How Cloud computing change the local IT department A headline like "Will the cloud be the end of the IT department?" is simply to get your attention. A lot of things change, but the need for someone local to do the hand holding and end user support is one constant that hasn't changed. The nebulous cloud does not take care of the local issues. How do you get to the cloud? Who builds and manages the network that gets you to the cloud? What devices get you to the cloud? Who sets up, updates, maintains, the workstations and other devices at the local level? What makes me laugh about all the new talk about the cloud is that the concept of hosted applications has been around since the early days of computing and the same questions have been raised for years. Likewise the debate of moving to the cloud sounds like an old discussion revisited. A similar debate over the model of centralized computing versus decentralized computing has been going on longer since before some of you were born. The roles of the IT department members will continue to change, but the need for a local IT department will still exist.


History In terms of their common goal of enabling customers to outsource specific computer applications so they can focus on their core competencies, ASPs may be regarded as the indirect descendant of the service bureaus of the 1960s and 1970s. In turn, those bureaus were trying to fulfill the vision of computing as a utility, which was first proposed by John McCarthy in a speech at MIT in 1961. Jostein Eikeland, the founder of Telecomputing, is credited with coining the acronym ASP in 1996, according to Inc. Magazine:

I remember when I first saw the acronym ASP, and thought it meant Active Server Pages, but was suprised to find out it also was used for application service provider. Survivalists should not believe in cloud computing The struggle between technology and the survivalist A recent article in the Network World website proclaims, "Moving to cloud computing is harder, costlier than originally envisioned." When speaking on business computing issues a word I use often is "enterprise, and I preach the sermon of enterprise mentality. The first rule of technology, nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Cloud wars continue Just a few weeks ago Google announced their new cloud storage service known as Google Drive. According to the Google Official Blog, "Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience." Google Drive installs some desk top client software on your computer, and allows you to use your new cloud storage space as just another folder on your computer. If you are already a user of Googles other services "Drive" shows up as another menu item on your Goo Google Drive Terms of Service By using Google Drive, you agree to the Google Terms of Service. If you are a Google Apps user, your use is subject to either the appropriate Google Apps Terms of Service, or the negotiated Google Apps terms, if applicable.


Cloud wars revisited: Microsoft SkyDrive versus Google Drive Which one is right for you? The virtual safety deposit box Will you trust you computer files to the cloud? With introduction of Google Drive, Google steps up competition with Apple Understanding the new Google Drive cloud services Yesterday, Google debuted their new Google Drive cloud services. The debate has already begun over whether or not we should trust Google with our files.

What is Google Drive? Can we trust Google Hubbub over content rights greets Google Drive Guess I'm an old fart here as this conversation reminds me an awful lot of one going on back in the 1990s. I remember when people first started using the word "Intranet." Some folks thought is simply a typo of the work Internet. People talked and talked in forums about defining this new buzz word "Intranet." Simply put, an Intranet was using the tools of the Internet on a private network. It meant connecting servers to workstations via TCP/IP and using a common application, a web browswer, to share the resources. Yea, pretty simple answer that was often debated. Now when you ask, what is a private cloud, hmmm, seems same rules should apply? Take your own definition of cloud computing which are resources typically delivered as a service over the Internet and apply those principals to a large private enterprise. Over the years I've seen people get too hung up on defining buzzwords like cloud computing rather than focus on what is the task before you and what are the tools best suited to the accomplish task. A private cloud is using the tools of cloud computing such clustering and virtualization on a private network.


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