What Does Cloud mean to us?

Discussion in 'Windows News' started by Wilhelm, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Not sure this is the place to ask this question but here goes. What will the "Cloud" thing do to us Desktop and Laptop owners in the future? Will life go on as usual or will we incur additional cost for new computers, laptops and programs?
     
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  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Excellent question and I hope you get some folks to contribute their answers and perspectives.
    Basically as I understand it at its' most basic and simplest level Cloud Computing would seem to me to be a revisiting of the old dumb terminal / thin client model that has been done and redone in the past with varying degrees of success. Just with some new buzz words like Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Application Virtualization, etc., and while tempting and appealing to some extent with features like being able to access your data from anywhere at anytime and applications available to you without having to install them locally, I think there are some inherent pitfalls that to some people might be a deal breaker. Like who has your data, how secure is it both from loss and corruption as well as legal subpoena, when the government wants to take a peak at what you have stored on the cloud are the service providers going to say nope, no way? I think that there are a few dissidents around the globe right now who have the answer to that.
    Additionally on those days when your provider can't seem to get their act together and the Cloud is unreachable, what then, assuming you have a local copy and the software to work on that Doctoral Thesis that is due tomorrow then I assume no harm no foul, except then when you are able to connect again you have the joyous task of overseeing the re-syncing of what you did and where you did it from.
    Sorry for the extra words. What I meant to say was no, I don't think those of us who enjoy using desktops or laptops have anything to fear, at least not in the foreseeable future. I think for the most part the people who will likely benefit (if there is truly benefit to be had) from Cloud Computing might likely be very large enterprises who have the money and resources to create and maintain their own private or private hybrid cloud, or those folks who enjoy using smaller handheld devices (phones and tablets) with less local storage and more modest system resources.
    Thanks for the question. I truly hope others will have opinions on the topic as well
    Regards
    Randy
     
  3. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Many existing companies, as well as start-ups, have designed a business model around cloud computing. One of the prime examples of this as a success story on the Internet today is cloud computing as a storage medium. Online services to reliably store backups, such as Carbonite, Dropbox, and accessory features added to backup software like Acronis allow typical computer users to store, share, and synchronize files across multiple platforms.

    Netflix is one of the most successful entertainment industry media services that, arguably, does revolve around, at the very least, a distributed streaming service with cloud computing elements. The cross-platform service can be accessed from personal computers, multiple video game consoles, smart devices, and even phones. Each of these devices run their own proprietary operating systems. The service is used by customers to stream movies directly to these devices. When we look at Steam, operated by Valve Corporation, many video game publishers use the service to sell and distribute games online. This distribution model is bound by a thin client which accesses numerous online servers to download, authorize, and distribute computer games.

    With cloud computing, we see distinct characteristics:

    The service itself is stored and accessed from multiple servers which are typically decentralized and operated at multiple data centers.

    The service offered can often exist without a "cloud" element, but the cloud computing model is often cheaper or more reliable.

    Why would you want to run things from a cloud computing environment? As we have known for years, leveraging the capability of multiple computers has distinct advantages. For people with low-end computers, cloud computing is an alternative that can allow for instant access to services that they would otherwise not be able to utilize.

    For developers and online publishers, cloud computing can be leveraged to distribute elements of websites across multiple locations around the world to make serving web pages faster and more reliable. This can even include database servers.

    Developers and businesses can run virtual machines that can utilize the entire cloud space using the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. In theory, this means that any number of computer systems can be set up online to serve any role using a finite number of resources which would be defined by how much the developer or business is willing to pay for access to those resources. As databases have become larger, many large corporations have started moving their data to cloud networks, which allow them to utilize a virtually unlimited amount of memory.

    The first extremely large and commercially successful cloud computing environment was set up at Amazon. As a result of having a large number of under-utilized servers around the world, they devised a plan to sell off this excess space by developing a resource that could be used for virtually any purpose. Many other vendors offering online backup solutions now rely on Amazon's cloud network to provide their own services to customers.

    As these cloud spaces expand, more services can be created that have a useful or meaningful purpose. For any product or service to sell, it must have some kind of intrinsic value. So while I would hesitate to say that "everyone is moving to the cloud", there is certainly a very large role to be played by this technology.

    The advantage of existing networks being moved to cloud-based services is immediately apparent when you consider the intrinsic reliability and speed that the Internet now offers. As every single Internet connection has become faster over the years, it becomes more cost effective to host products and services across a vast number of computer systems and services. Whereas a 100MBit connection speed was something only realized on internal networks years ago, the increased access and utilization of the Internet through fiber optic networks is allowing many people to use the Internet with less latency. What that can mean for the future of the Internet is immediate access to products and services, both commercialized and free, from cloud networks.

    Looking back at cloud computing's past, we can see where some of the baseline ideas came from. Peer to peer networks offered file sharing through a highly reliable distributed computing model that has only gotten better to this day. By taking this a step further through the use of programming, APIs, and online services, cloud networks are just a step forward in that direction.

    Because Google and Yahoo! both host the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI), many interactive websites have been using a form of cloud computing from Google or Yahoo internal networks for some time. This can be argued because the library itself is hosted on a distributed, albeit, private network of servers that are accessible around the world. Many other online scripting libraries are now being hosted on cloud networks. However, we should differentiate cloud computing from distributed computing by understanding the role cloud computing plays right now.

    Cloud computing is very much a solution for distribution and resource management that would not have been possible without the proliferation of the home computer, and so it is my assertion that most people will not stop using them. How they are designed in the future is a different story.

    While many companies have begun planning to offer software licensing on an annual basis through the use of cloud services, it is very likely that the push to this type of business model would be optional. No customer or client of any kind likes to be pushed into a corner, and so whether or not these ideas succeed is up for debate.

    In theory, the "computing" in cloud computing is limited only to the Internet connection speed of the cloud network itself as well as the client. As Internet connection speeds approach zero latency, one could run and interact with a full featured operating system far into the future. Until then, you may see online versions of programs that can be "instanced" from a cloud environment while the virtualization of entire computer systems remains primarily to fill server roles.

    Ultimately, cloud computing as an option seems to be a very good thing. As an "only choice", I do not believe it would be very well received, unless the service or product being offered is could only exist using this method or the service or product relies solely on the existence of this type of system. While the idea starts with distribution, it does end with computing entirely. The possibilities become endless when you start realizing that latency between computer systems on the Internet will eventually approach zero. Around that time, the difference between an internal and external network begins to blur entirely. The concept of cloud computing is quite sound once you realize how much can ultimately be saved by companies that do not want to operate their own hardware, as well. Whether or not these companies translate that savings to consumers, I believe, will distinguish how quickly cloud computing continues to move forward.
     
  4. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Thanks to both of you for the response. Some of it is very heavy but at my age, I doubt that it will have much effect on me. Maybe my Grand Kids.:)
     
  5. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

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    Just the very idea, of uploading my data files to a "Cloud" for storage, gives me the shivers!
    When one of my customers asks me about that, like using Carbonite, I just ask them "do you know exactly where your data will be, at any given time?" What city, what country and who will have access to it besides you?
    I would no more do that, than trust my stuff to some stranger who came to my door.

    I know that's probably an "Old School" attitude, but at 68, that's just me.
    I want all my 'stuff' where I can physically lay my hands on it. A fireproof vault, about twenty miles away is just fine.
    Somewhere off in a cloud? Forgetaboutit!

    Cheers Mates and Happy Holidays!

    :cool:
     
  6. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Old timer, I read you "Loud and Clear". From an "Older" Old Timer. Thanks and Cheers to you and yours.
     
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Another important consideration I think, is what will likely happen once every one is dependent on cloud based computing, is that providers will like adopt a web usage based billing process that will in all likely hood make accessing your cloud stored data more expensive. So that would be another no vote from me regarding Cloud Computing.
    Web usage-based billing on its way
    Regards
    Randy
     
  8. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Randy, I think I will carry it one step further down the road, it will give the Government a much easier way to control. Money yes, control even more.
     
  9. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

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    I've been dealing with computers, in one form or another for about forty years and if I've learned nothing else, it's to NOT TRUST them.:mad:

    It's bad enough to have my important stuff on my own PC that I built, maintain and trust...... about as far as I could throw a bulldozer.*-)

    Every computer is nothing more than a CRASH just waiting to happen. That's why I back up all my stuff every week and I have backups on DVD's going back many years.
    I was setting up Backup schemes for banks, corp HQ's, Govt Offices and personal PC's, as far back as the old DOS days.
    But, every one of those backups was in a safe place where we could lay our hands on it in just a matter of minutes. And it was always kept under lock and key, safe from fire, theft or natural disasters.

    In a cloud? No freakin' way!

    Cheers Mates!
    :cool:
     
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  10. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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  11. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    3 people like this.
  12. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    What Does Cloud mean to us?

    Ummm, ... that it's gonna rain??
     
  13. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    A sense of humor probably does come in handy regarding such matters.
    But I can only imagine the disappointment of some unsuspecting users of Megaupload.com finding the only image left at that location is banner.jpg
    View attachment 18180
    I hope that image isn't copyrighted, don't see any such markings. But if it is please advise and I'll be happy to delete it.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Sorry, Randy... hadn't looked @ this yet though, I will. Just couldn't resist the silly pun; in the name of levity not, @ all, pointing, specifically, @ the material you'd made available for us to see :frown: That, which you bring to our attention is sure not humourous!

    Cheers,
    Drew
     
  15. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Randy, thanks for taking care of that "Young Whipper Snapper" for me.:razz: I was almost out of school when he came along.
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    I trust, Wilhelm, that's not in regard to this old guy :eek:

    Drew

    lol
     
  17. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Senior Member

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    Darn right, youngster:)
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Ah, ride on, thanks, @ least age doesn't show. :) Hmmm, not sure that came out right :confused: :D
     
  19. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

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    This thread is starting to grow a beard longer than the "Old Timer". So let me jump to the end......Eh? I could be wrong (I was Once) but didn't I read something this past week about some data storage company going under? I think I even forwarded the article to a customer of mine who paid good money for Carbonite. I warned him against it and he did it anyway. When his little HP Slimline computer blew its brains out and would not even turn on.....all that cloud stuff was as worthless as last weeks TV guide. What was really worth gold to him was my ability to, slave his old hard drive, to my own PC and access all his data and copy it off of his hard drive and burn it to DVD's for him. Now it's in his hand and it's SAFE.

    He used to run Ghost 2003, from a boot disk and back up his whole system to an external drive, but then Carbonite gave him the old sales pitch and Ghost was left in the dust. Carbonite was also doing some kind of updates to his external drive, but when I looked at it, there was almost nothing there at all.

    Ok, I went back and did some digging. The problem was with the company "Megaupload". It was taken down by the powers that be. Since then, several other file storage companies have voluntarily gone OFF LINE. I don't have to wonder where all those saved files went to. Can you say "Oblivion".???

    A friend emailed me today, that "Fileserve" and "Filesonic" are effectively GONE. I wonder if "Hotfile" won't be next to go down.
    It only takes one adult movie, or piece of copyrighted software on a site to get it Axed.

    I do have files at box dot net, but they are files for my friends and customers to download, not any personal data. Besides, all those files are still on my own PC, and again on my personal file server where I have my own web page. So, if box dot net went belly up tomorrow.... Adios Amigo! No problemo! I know exactly where my files, or copies of them are. They're not off in a cloud somewhere. My personal data, going back two decades, never leaves my personal control.

    Cheers Mates!
    O.T. :cool:
     
    #19 OldTimer, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  20. KM Richards

    KM Richards Well-Known Member

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    What the cloud means is...eventually, you will be forced by government to go through one central system so they can keep an eye on you.

    This is why cloud computing is being setup so they can control all your computing activities at some point in the future. If they don't like what you have to say or what you are doing, you'll be cut off.

    And, even today...don't kid yourself that nobody is looking at the data being stored on a server somewhere instead of on your local drive...the government is in fact scanning data looking for specific key words in data relating to terrorism, drugs, and general ciminal activity.

    Soon... they will be targeting free speech, political and Christian activity (other forms of religion aren't a problem)!
    It's coming, so brace yo selfs...
     
    #20 KM Richards, Mar 3, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012

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