Wednesday, February 18, 2009

[Incomplete Thought] Cloud Computing - WTF is it?!

Sometimes the details are important!

{I'm borrowing the idea of an Incomplete Thought Post from The Hoff - jotting down some though on my blog before it is fully complete. I hope it will lead to faster posting. I have about 25 posts that are half written which I probably should have posted but they are just not quite right. This post is something I have thought about but may be open to discussion.}

Cloud computing is new which is why it is fun. Its like a new gadget and although you probably have no idea what it is or why you need it the Cloud Computing salespeople are already convincing you that your competitors are using it to get ahead of you.

I think that the original plans for Java are pretty similar to what we are expecting from Cloud Computing. Plug in an object a server, know the interfaces to it and Bob's your uncle - you are up and running. You can do limited customisation but you really don't need to know how everything is happening - just accept that it is. In Java we called it "Black Box" and now it is called "Cloud Computing". In both cases you don't get to see the inner workings. In both cases you are not supposed to care.

The power of this is that once you have a good object defined, you can use multiple objects chained together for scaling up or multiple different objects working together for a common cause. You could even get your chain to scale up and down as needed. Likewise, you could drop new objects in place as you want to create new services. You can even change objects as you find better working examples of them.

An example of this is my Blog. I could run it on my own server and manage the server, the database, the web (HTML, code, etc). Or I could go to Blogspot, sign up and be online in a few seconds. And, if all of a sudden there is a massive interest in my Blog (pfft) then Google will supply me the bandwidth and Server power to keep my site up. This is all very well but I have other advantages now too, such as, I have thrown out the vanilla comment section and put in one that works better. I could throw out that one too if I find something better. I have gone with feedburner for managing the RSS feed but I have a few choices there. Inter-connectivity is making my Blog so much more than a static web page.

I am really benefiting from "the cloud". On the other hand - there is nothing on my Blog that is private at all. The whole point of this Blog is to "get the word out there" so the more people that read my stuff - the better. I may not want spammers getting my email but thats pretty much it.

So, honestly, I don't care where my data is stored, what happens to it in transit, who reads it, etc. It is better not to know because my head can hold only so much junk. I also benefit in that I don't have to stick everything together. (Where I do stick different pieces together - it is made very very easy for me) and I don't need to pay for a dedicated server.

On the other hand, (and this is key) if it was corporate information then the details of where, how, what, etc become important.