We’ve only started to scratch the surface of cloud computing
The Internet might be over forty years old and the web a youthful 25, cloud computing as we know it is still a kid by any measure. In this series I covered some of the basics of the cloud (there is no cloud, you’re just using other people’s computers), backups, disaster recovery, on demand servers, and software as a service, but those are just a five of myriad ways we can tap into the Cloud.
The promise of anytime, anywhere computing is coming true
For most of the past 16 years I’ve been a telecommuter/remote worker/distributed team member, so much so that I started a book jokingly titled Daddy Wears Slippers to Work (I didn’t finish it, but wrote four others, so that’s okay). In 2000 being a remote worker was hard . We were barely into the broadband era and tools we take for granted today—Skype, IM, group chat, web-based project management—had barely been invented (I was using Skype before it was even considered good enough to be called “beta”).
Today we’re looking at tools that can push an entire desktop, from the OS to settings to apps to files, right to a machine over the internet. Imagine sitting down at your computer at home and with a couple clicks it changes from your personal machine to your work machine. New apps appear, the desktop morphs, you’re connected to colleages by video, and updated files are being pushed to you.
This isn’t a scene our of Her, it’s this close to being a reality. The tools are available, we’re just only starting to experiment with the possibilities.
Spread the load far and wide
The adage “many hands make light work” doesn’t just apply to barn raising, but computing resources. Distributing resources, files, and applications across several data centers not improves performance (the closer you are physically to the data center, the better your performance is) but also reduces risk by having redundant systems that can jump into action if one set is overloaded.
This is how today’s high peformance content delivery networks work, in fact. The websites for CNN, Time, the New York Times, pretty much any large website, have their content replicated and hosted on servers around the world. A story is published in New York and the primary server might be close by, but it’s then replicated so when news breaks, no one single server bears the entire load.
When you can log into Salesforce or Outlook.com or Office 365 as realibly from Bangor as from Bangkok, that’s the Cloud in action.
I have about a terabyte of space available on Dropbox, but I’m not using anything close to that. So Dropbox has that space in reserve for me. When I need it, it will be there. I can’t imagine how Dropbox manages the need for actual versus projected storage needs (my terabyte is a molecule of water in an ocean of data to them), but…
That’s the Cloud in action.
This is where we’re heading, join us
The Cloud is essential to work today. You know it inuitively even if you don’t think you use the Cloud much at all (have a smartphone? You use the Cloud). We’re building a cloud infrastructure with industry partners like Terago, Cisco, Veeam, VMWare, Unidesk, and HP Enterprise. We want to show you that the Cloud is more than secure, reliable backup. More than servers and appliciations at the ready with capacity that grows with you. The Cloud is going to be woven into the fabric of our work and lives, now is the time to get in, get going, and get on the Cloud.
If you’d like to read the other parts of the series, you can catch up with Part 1: What is the Cloud, Part 2: Data and Backups, Part 3: Disaster Recovery, Part 4: Infrascture as a Service (servers on demand), and Part 5 Applications and SaaS.