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Cloud Computing: I Want To Have My Cake and Eat It Too

The infrastructure is finally in place to recognize the dreams of many of "thin clients" and net terminals

Alan Shimel's Blog

It is easy to dismiss Don Dodge's piece asking 'Do You Really Want Your Data in the Cloud?' as a Microsoft guy defending their turf. He uses some recent uptime problems at Amazon, Twitter, Disqus and Typepad to show that keeping your information in the cloud and relying on the net to deliver your applications gives you less control, less security, less scalability and less reliability.

Don has a point, even though net access and SaaS services are much more mature than they were in the past, there are always the times when it does not work. For that matter, cell phones, blackberries, and cable TV don't always work either. An indication of how vital something has become is how much we miss it if it is not available.

But to the point, I remember when the personal computer first came into being. The idea of your data and the applications being "portable" to your device was revolutionary. The idea of keeping your data on those big floppy discs was so empowering. But even than, problems accessing data on a disk or an application not behaving or security problems could render you just as frustrated on your non-networked device as an Amazon or Twitter being down does now.

Ultimately I think these things go in cycles and we are entering a centralized cycle now. However, I think this turn of the cycle could be different. Never before has net access been so ubiquitous. Never before have we seen the depth of optimized applications for the net. The infrastructure is finally in place to recognize the dreams of many of "thin clients" and net terminals.

But I think the best model is a hybrid model. I like the Microsoft solution where I can work on stuff online and off line on my computer, then sync up later. Ultimately when it comes cloud versus local computing, I want my cake and eat it too.

[This appeared originally here and is republished by kind permission of the author, who retains copyright.]

More Stories By Alan Shimel

Alan Shimel is Chief Strategy Officer at StillSecure, in which role he helps shape the company's business and technology strategy. Alan is on the Open Source Snort Rules Consortium Board of Directors and is also responsible for StillSecure's participation in open source initiatives such as the Trusted Computing Group and OS2A.

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Most Recent Comments
Danny Lieberman 06/12/08 05:15:38 AM EDT

Look - Dodge is a Microsoft guy doing his job. I would not expect less.

Consider however that there are at least 3 extremely compelling reasons to use a data service provider:

1) They do it better than you
I doubt that most businesses can compete with the data security, network security, IT operations and customer service that Amazon provides its users.

2) They can do it cheaper than you
Economies of scale in addition to being their main line of business.

3) Your data won't be vulnerable to trusted insiders inside your office.

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