Saturday 26 June 2010

Cloud Field. The social way to the future

Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid

That's the definition from the wiki and it's pretty fine if you ask me. However, one can picture that this may not quite concur with the ideas and habits of traditional vendors and system integrators.
Therefore, Private Cloud has now been invented (no definition available from the wiki!) where basically the word 'Internet' in the definition above can be replaced by 'vendor' or 'system integrator'.
To distinguish those from the real and original idea, Cloud Computing is now dubbed Public Cloud

Now we all agree on the terms and conditions, I'd like to make a statement: the Cloud Field is the real fourth base (referring to Meat Loaf and Paradise by the Dashboard Light here).
I envision a computing world that functions exactly like the current Utility Net: people withdraw energy from it, but might also create their own and give back surplus energy.
In the Netherlands, there are quite a few people who have solar panels and return electricity to the net on hot days like these (it's over 30 C today, uncanningly hot. I'm writing this post from my jacuzzi, so you might call it a bath blog)

Equally so, I can imagine that we're all connected to a Cloud Field with all our computing devices (desktop, laptop, mobile, iPad and whatever hybrids in between) and Seti-like take and give resources. Computing resources like processing power and memory. Only virtual memory initially, but even storage could be a valuable resource in the Cloud Field

It would all be transparent. We would all be one. Theoretically, there would be no loss of computing power, while at the same time being endlessly scalable. Of course firms and governments would have their hidden supplies and quotas, as politics are likely to continue their sad ways unless we go back to a far more intimate level of organisation (tribes) but that's for another post

So, how do we get there? Will we get there? Should we get there?
  • Private cloud is first base. It will lure the vendors and system integrators out of their comfort zone, into Cloud. We would really achieve a 3-tier architecture (data, business logic, presentation) and applications would be stand-alone and endlessly scalable
  • Hybrid cloud is second base.It will be the next battle station for vendors and system integrators, trying to maintain the lock-in and straight jackets they've securely enforced on their customers. It will be a battle field for private clouds and public clouds alike, and probably even true Public Cloud operators like Amazon will go partially hybrid, albeit for just a while...
  • Public Cloud is third base. As much as we can, we'll 'take it as it comes' and use the default processing power, memory and storage just like we use the roads we travel on today
  • Cloud Field is fourth base. Apart from having to please the legacy gatekeepers, a true public cloud for all is simply one-size-fits-all and thus unviable. We need a blanket, and this is it. Most challenging goal: what is its power, and how can it regulate all the diverse Cloud interpretations?
There's plenty of work to do. Stop whining and bickering, and start cooperating. Not in the sense of W3C or Oasis, where everything gets compromised to Death, but in the EDIFACT / X12 sense: one goal, one vision

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