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Thread: Cloud computing, one opinion.

  1. #1
    Cithel is offline Senior Member
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    Default Cloud computing, one opinion.

    Recently I've heard a lot of folks in the tech media telling anyone that would listen how the “cloud” is where we are going to be doing our computing soon. I'm not sold and I'm not sure that I want to be sold.

    Cloud computing is booting into an operating system that is mostly a browser and running server based applications. Chrome OS is one example. Years ago Microsoft tried to push the idea of the browser as an application platform and didn't get much traction because it was a terrible user experience. I haven't seen much to think it is going to be better now. Granted we now have a richer web browsing experience, probably as a direct result of that push but it hasn't become a replacement for a desktop OS and desktop applications.

    The basic idea that you can access your data from anywhere at any time is alluring. I like the idea that you can work from a wide diversity of platforms. Also there is a certain amount of “cool” to the idea that appeals to me as a geek but I see two fundamental problems beyond a functional OS that are not solved yet.

    The first is that anytime anywhere access doesn't exist anywhere except in the imagination of marketing department personnel. The reality is that to get even anything close to anytime anywhere access the plumbing would have to be overbuilt to a degree that is cost prohibitive. Yes, it could be done but I don't want to pay for it, either via taxes, monthly fees or being forced to view advertising. Do I really want my OS written by a company that has no vested interest in anything other than delivery of advertising?

    The second problem that I see is that I might want to write something down that I don't want anyone else to read. If my data is being stored in the cloud, what guarantee is there that someone will never get to that data? The short answer is absolutely none.

    Simply put, I would be at the mercy of the weakest link in the hosting companies IT dept. Or worse, at the mercy of a business manager that is concerned with the short term profitability of the business and makes security decisions accordingly. Yes this could hurt the business long term but by then the damage to my privacy could already be done. I could store it locally but that makes the cloud pointless, especially so if I need a cloud based application to edit that data.

    Lastly, when my data is stored on the local premises I have certain civil liberties that I may or may not have when storing information elsewhere. I'm no lawyer but sometimes those liberties must be fought for, I doubt that a business would willingly pay court costs, lawyer's fees and everything else just to protect my right to privacy.

    For the foreseeable future I'm sticking with a local OS and local applications, feet of clay or not.

    So what am I missing here? Why is the cloud such a great idea?


  2. #2
    MrMBerman's Avatar
    MrMBerman is offline Senior Member
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    Cloud computing is still in its early stages, but the public sector is already beginning to see advantages.

    Despite its possible security and privacy risks, Cloud Computing has six main benefits that the public sector and government IT organizations are certain to want to take advantage of.

    In a very brief summary form they are as follows:

    1 Reduced Costs

    Cloud technology is paid incrementally, saving organizations money.

    2 Increased Storage

    Organizations can store more data than on private computer systems.

    3 Highly Automated

    No longer do IT personnel need to worry about keeping software up to date.

    4 Flexibility

    Cloud computing offers much more flexibility than past computing methods.

    5 More Mobility

    Employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks.

    6 Allows IT to Shift Focus

    No longer having to worry about constant server updates and other computing issues, governments and organizations will be free to concentrate more on innovation.

  3. #3
    Cithel is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcEmarc View Post
    Cloud computing is still in its early stages, but the public sector is already beginning to see advantages. Despite its possible security and privacy risks, Cloud Computing has six main benefits that the public sector and government IT organizations are certain to want to take advantage of.
    Agreed, very early development, that alone is enough to make it a no go for me. I guess my point is that without addressing the "possible security and privacy risks" the rest is pie in the sky. No pun intended.

    It's possible that a hybrid model of a private cloud could be interesting to business and government (Citrix has been trying to sell that model for many many years and has had at best partial success) but a public cloud model for business and government? Sorry, but I'm skeptical. Both business and governments will want (and be required) to restrict access to certain data and you just can't do that with a third party involved.
    Last edited by Cithel; 5th December 2009 at 09:00.

  4. #4
    seti is offline Member
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    This is a long and interesting debate for some. Me personally, no. I tend to agree with Cithel at this time. I prefere to have something in my hand and not have to rely on others and I think their are too many security concerns not least terriorist ones where they use a devise that knock out everything. I remember watcging a TV programme on the TV avout this. Then Governments can also take control over the cloud so there is the thing with censorship, I point to China and Iran on this. But what do I know. At the moment the only clouds I like are the ones that I fly above on my to my holiday

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