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What is the promise of cloud computing?

January 10, 2009 by Gustavo Sandrigo | Filed under Capacity, Cloud Computing, New Technologies, Scalability.
Cloud image

The cloud is the latest buzz word. Everything can live in the cloud; some even say that it is web 3.0, and as such it will change the way we do things.

The problem is that at this stage the cloud is too much like the real clouds, for lack of a better term cloudy.

What is the cloud good for? What is the killer app of the cloud?

Microsoft has recently released it own version of the cloud, Windows Azure. Amazon was first to the game with its web services and Google has something similar with Google Engine. And just like that, life as a developer has become as dark as a day with too many clouds ;)

Is it possible to define what  can live in a cloud without talking at the same time about one of these implementations? I am not sure that can be done at this point in time.

I think that the cloud brings some promises and changes to the table that may change some business models.

The promise of a self managed environment, the cloud does not require you to maintain it, no worries about down time, no worries about failed hard drives, no worries about VIPs or grumpy sysadmins.

Automatic scalability, your service or website will have enough iron to run on without you having to buy extra hardware, you just pay for the use.

Maximum availability and redundancy, if a server goes down on the cloud fabric, a new server will host your service without any perceived downtime. You also no longer need two of every kind of server, the cloud provides the redundancy. It is built in.

Automatically backed up systems and data, since the cloud promises no down time, your data is always replicated somewhere else in the cloud.

A friend of mine put it this way, IT is gone.

I don’t know that I agree completely with that statement, however I can see that IT for a production environment may become unnecessary.

In the coming weeks I will be posting articles on each one of these implementations. Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on this? What do you think is the killer app for the cloud?


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