Cloud computing

Monday, September 15th, 2008 | Computer Usage

e-Business.

e-Commerce.

e-Learning.

And now they are talking about cloud computing . What is it? It is difficult to get an exact definition, because, like a cloud in the sky, the concept is rather nebulous.

One definition found on the web is not too bad:

For many, it simply means “something done outside my walls.” What it means in practice is a collection of resources — applications, platforms, raw computing power and storage, and managed services (like antivirus detection) — delivered over the internet.

Let me put this in even more simple terms: All you need is a computing device – a desktop PC, or a laptop, or a PDA; some cell phones may even do. All the application software programmes that you require are living somewhere on the web (free or at a cost); the data that you create is then stored back on the web (free or at a cost).

In theory you really need only two things: a computing device and internet access. And if you play your cards well, it could all be free. For example, Google has all the office products you need and allows you to store your files on their site. Social networking sites allow you to store information, conversations, pictures and video clips at their cost. Bookmarking tools enable you to store your favorites on the web. You can even host a blog at no cost!

The implication of all of this is that you can go wherever you like – you will have your applications and data available. They are in the clouds – always ready to be pulled. You are neither bound to a physical location, nor are you restricted by storage space. A simple, inexpensive device will do the trick for you.

If one goes for the free software and storage options, computing could potentially be within the grasp of all the poor people in Africa – they must just find a device from somewhere and get internet access.

This is perhaps where the silver lining of the computing cloud disappears – the non-availability of equipment and the current exorbitant cost of internet connectivity will keep African feet firmly planted on the ground for the foreseeable future.

For updated information on cloud computing, click here.

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3 Comments to Cloud computing

Albie Wireless
Tuesday, 16 September, 2008

Albie
Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 06:35 PM
My HDD and Memory Stick plugged in Cloud 9 with the dark rain droplets !! Then the silver line of the Broadband wireless connection just visible like a rainbow – some days. FANTASTIC, but…. my concern is more-or-less the same as Kathy and Aletta’ statements ….

1. Safety of my very informative and personal data STORAGE SPACE and its position behind the dark cloud where perhaps “lightning” and “thunder” CAN DESTROY or evern WORSE, access it and “virulate” it – will there be another cloud that will back-up my computing data ? Who might access it if it is “out of sight” from under my roof ?

2. Continuous Accessibility 25 hours a day uniterrupted from anywhere in SA especially in the rural mountainous areas – when will the broadband be there to service these remote areas ?

3. For FREE ? or will there be hidden costs to maintain it and even turn into hailstones prices for the poor rural people in remote areas who need it.

Nervertheless, still a FANTASTIC concept. All the ICT Nano-Technologists must accomplish now, is to have my microchip in my left rear tooth and that it must be voice activated or even better – mind activated with the cloud. Just thinking e-mails, blog and Bi-weekly reports and Term Planners !!!

Albie without a keyboard, mouse and memory stick in 2010.

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