Cloud computing Oops

22 January 2010 by Bob North

Sometimes the next big thing is too good to be true. Finally it’s beginning to dawn on the big players in the cloud computing market that their business models are holed below the waterline.

For once the problems aren’t simply technical, but more fundamental. Hence this week it was Microsoft’s lawyer who got wheeled out to plead with lawmakers for a Cloud Computing Advancement Act to change the world to help make it work.

Of course he’s not going to get very far with that. The Internet – and the ‘cloud’ – is global, and even if legislators in the US accede to his wishes, it’s implausible that the rest of the world will too.

The irony is that whilst the Cloud has the benefit of allowing rapid upscaling – and so is great for supporting the next phenomenon, such as Facebook or Twitter, yet almost every other website is of a fairly predictable scale. Sure, they might double their traffic over the course of a year, but in hardware terms that’s trivial to handle. Certainly there’s no need to sacrifice the flexibility and control you have by rebuilding for the Cloud.

So what can we learn from all this? The cloud concept has some great attributes – remote configuration, and reduction of the technical knowledge that should be needed in configuration. Perhaps it’s possible to retain these whilst avoiding the pitfalls of privacy, reliability, loss of control, and architectural compromises that go along with it. Sounds attractive to me. See and let me know if you agree.










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