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Cloud Computing

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Imagine a world in which your friends, your family, your neighbors, and whoever else you care to mention has access to any program in the world with nearly limitless computing power. This is the idea behind cloud computing, an emerging technological innovation that could be the next evolution of the computing world.

At first glance, cloud computing sounds a lot like the internet – giving people access to information and computational power anywhere in the world. This definition is actually much less than what cloud computing could offer. Like the internet, the resources for a cloud computing grid are accessible from anywhere, but it’s more than just information to be shared and absorbed. Cloud computing offers access to actual computing power, meaning you could use the programs and resources currently available from your hard drive from literally anywhere, and from almost any device. Imagine running Photoshop on your cell phone, playing World of Warcraft on your car’s GPS system, or rendering video on your TV. Every application and computer resource you might typically need to house in a liquid cooled, power-gobbling computer case can be accessed from a simple client machine, as small or as large as you like.

Forget duplicate hard drives and fire-proof safes for your family’s digital pictures and the blackmail emails from college buddies. Cloud computing even includes off-site storage for literally as much data as you can possibly dig up. The days of the ultimate gaming rig or video editing machine could soon give way to subscription to the cloud from the client machine of your choosing.

Obviously the cloud has its limitations. Who gets to play Zeus, for instance? And what happens when illegal or self-incriminating information is stored in the cloud. Who can have access? As invasive as the internet may seem at times, cloud computing could take private information anywhere in the world for safe-keeping. Is that a price you’ll pay for all the computer power in the world? We think it’s worth thinking about, don’t you?

For More Info…

…check out these sites. Cloud computing is the bleeding-edge of supercomputer technology, so these are the mumblings and musings of the tech world’s vision of the cloud, not the state of things. Even as a concept, though, cloud computing offers plenty of food for thought and reason for speculation.

Cloud Computing on Wikipedia
The Wikipedia Article on Cloud Computing is well-written, albeit a bit confusing at times. Of course, what could you expect from a theoretical computing system? The page has a diagram that should give any tech savvy reader a very basic understanding of the cloud computing model. What more could you ask?

Cloud Computing at Direct2Dell
Dell recently launched this blog that deals with cloud computing from a developer’s standpoint. This site is definitely not for the faint of the heart, or the technologically challenged. Dell’s gone all out, posting videos, pictures, and diagrams on a fairly regular basis for such an emerging technology. Obviously, this is a site worth watching.

Cloud Computing Blog
Follow the recent developments.

Articles

Computer in the Cloud: from Technology Review
Technology Review, a magazine published by MIT, is a great place to catch buzz on the latest tech. Their article, Computer in the Cloud, showcases current efforts toward cloud computing. While most experts would say we aren’t there just yet, services like DesktopTwo and Amazon’s S3 offering sure look like a solid start.

Computing Heads for the Clouds
This article from Business Week explains this recent trend and how some big tech companies are pushing the envelope.

Google and IBM join in “Cloud Computing” research
Both companies are contributing computing power to help with university research.

Profile of Box.com CEO
Box.com is one of the leaders in the cloud computing movement helping small and medium sized companies move to the cloud..

Resources

Google Apps
Today, most people are running their word processors, spread sheets and other personal and business programs on their computer. Google and others are offering ways to do this stuff in the cloud. They’re already made big strides with Gmail. Let’s see if their other apps have as much success.

Box
Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Integrate Box with Google Apps and Salesforce and access Box on mobile devices.

SalesForce.com
This company is one of the innovators in this area, with on-demand customer resource management software. Learn more here.

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