Thursday, 3 January 2008

Cloud computing

Over the Christmas period, Bill St Arnaud posted a couple of interesting items on cloud computing. He also points to an excellent presentation by Savas Parastatidis. I'm not going to explain the background as the links here will do that much better than I can...

Advocates explain that cloud computing offers advantages over grid computing - clouds are potentially more powerful and crash-proof. And there is the idea that outsourcing the infrastructure can save institutions money and drive the environmental agenda.

The downsides associated with cloud computing include: immature standards (though this seems to be changing); inadequate access to high speed connections; data protection concerns.

The big players are all involved in cloud developments - Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo, Google, Amazon. Google is starting to work with a handful of US universities - University of Washington, Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, University of Maryland - with a view to expanding later to work with more, globally. Amazon is already offering its Simple Storage Service (S3) and is developing its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

The Wikipedia entry for cloud computing points to a couple of interesting articles:

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