Our Cloudy Future
April 27, 2012
CNet News looks down the road in “Where IT is Going: Cloud, Mobile, and Data.” Of course, cloud computing, mobile devices, and big data are related. All are part of the move away from powerful, independent PCs to remotely accessed, communal data repositories.
Writer Gordon Haff rightly notes that “cloud” is a beleaguered term, suffering from “definitional overload,” but he manages to define it, rather broadly, for the purposes of his article:
“Think of cloud computing as being about trends in computer architectures, how applications are loaded onto those systems and made to do useful work, how servers communicate with each other and with the outside world, and how administrators manage and provide access. This trend also encompasses all the infrastructure and ‘plumbing’ that makes it possible to effectively coordinate data centers full of systems increasingly working as a unified compute resource as opposed to islands of specialized capacity.”
Mobile devices are the way we access this “unified compute resource,” but for Haff the term extends beyond smartphones and tablets. He cites sensors on large systems like power grids, and the ability for that system to use sensor information to make changes, as another example.
Big data is the well of information manipulated through the cloud, and Huff notes that our huge data collections are forcing a change in how that information is stored. We are moving away from disk arrays toward software-based storage spread across servers.
The article contains a good deal of information, and is a valuable read for anyone interested in the direction in which we are moving.
Cynthia Murrell, April 27, 2012
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