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» Cloud Computing how you feel?

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Cloud Computing Worst Nightmare or Heaven for IT personnel and potential it personnel.

 

For those who has some idea about cloud computing it is purely a concept of outsourcing a company's processing and data storage requirement to an external company. It simply means companies will strip itself from all or most of its servers, computers, programs, application and get it runned remotely by a professional company.

 

Would this concept lead to lots of lost of IT jobs now and the near future?

 

I will say so front-user/in-house support will be less demandable due to this particular technology, however one could argue that most of the technicial support will be required by company providing the cloud computing services however I don't think they will a lot of people for it.

 

What do you guys/ladies think about it.

 

Thanks.

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I think it's great if you live/ work in one of the few environments that has a fast, reliable and stable internet/ WAN connection. The reality is that for many businesses and road warriors alike, it's a case of a sometimes internet connection and that is the difference between an "always only" cloud offering vs a sometimes cloud offering. If you can still work without needing to access the cloud then it's awesome.

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I think it's a big step forward, but as Tick mentioned you really need to have high quality bandwidth to take full advantage of it.

 

I worked for a company here in Norway where they had a central server in Oslo and only thin clients everywhere else so everyone ran everything from this central server. It sure cut costs down, but it was slow as pig shit. You turned on your PC, went to the break room then came back and it was still loading.

 

To make it worth your while you had to actually open all the apps you had considered using during that day so they would be cached and you wouldn't have to wait. Additionally everything was saved on the central server, so opening large documents or spreadsheet was just mind numbingly slow.

 

Had the system been faster it would have been fantastic.

 

So i'd say cloud computing has its place, but the implementation needs to be right.

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It's variable, as noted depends on your available bandwidth but its coming quite quickly. I've been working as CTO on a cloud-oriented start-up using distributed modular data centres for a few years now. Not live yet, like most start ups awaiting some funding.

 

There are a huge number of variables with possibilities far beyond the initial XaaS models of Infrastructure, Storage Platform and Software and the choices of Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds with even the last able to be fuzzy at the edges.

 

Storage in many ways is the easiest, if you use Dropbox you are already using a Cloud service, Infrastructure can off-load big number crunching tasks from low power devices such as tablets, Platform allows app sharing, and a development environment, once licensing catches up, Software delivers useful apps, such as Salesforce ubiquitously. But there are significant cross overs and the ability to use what you need when you need it has many dependencies.

 

We selected modules to allow both a mesh for fault tolerance and disaster recovery with rapid deployment and are building strongly on not only vitualisation, which is implicit, but vSphere/vMotion for continuity.

 

Security is non-trivial but with tablets, smart phones and sneakernet USB sticks it already was.

 

It is however coming, whether people want it or not because done right it reduces costs, smooths out refresh humps, and allows companies with big money gulping inefficient IT in-house to get back to their core businesses.

 

It's not even new, not really, its how we used to divide up the investment of expensive mainframes and minis using dumb terminals and what the ASP initiative around 2000 tried although that was a bit early both in hardware resources and bandwidth.

 

Bandwidth can be between easy and bloody difficult so you have to adjust Cloud dependence to circumstance. If you can get direct fibre, great, if you are within range for high-speed wireless also great, if you only have slow copper or worse satellite then perhaps you should think of Cloud only in terms of off-loading big tasks, to only use the link for results and for after-hours remote backup with more local compute, which is where modules are nice for mine sites et al.

 

However the commonest response I get when talking to potential customers is: "So you can take my IT headaches in the back-end systems away, let me focus on IT support for my desktop users instead of molly coddling servers and smooth out my IT budget whilst saving me some money? Where do I sign?"

 

:)

 

The rewards are easy to see, secure, reliable delivery, that's a challenge... :)

 

Cheers

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The term cloud computing is often used to cover so many different things, virtualised hosting/online services etc. Each solution has different uses and solve different business problems. From the side of running an online service, virtual hosting in "the cloud" (ie amazon, rackspace) is very attractive as it allows you to scale up and down as required without requiring a large amount of infrastructure. For startups this is great as it requires much less upfront capitol.

 

As to moving other business services onto virtualised hosting this has both positives and negatives, often the cost aspect overrules but there are other considerations. You no longer have control of the infrastructure and are at the mercy of the provider for uptime and performance but more importantly security. Information ownership and jurisdiction can also become a problem, if the actual data is hosted in another country then the laws of that country apply. For services like email, calendaring it is hard to go past an online hosted solution they offer reliable and well supported services but for more dedicated business applications that are tied specifically to your company or have confidential then the trade offs start to become more apparent. In the end it often comes back to a business/risk decision more than a technical one, not diminishing the technical implications but aside from the aspects mentioned previously it really does come down to your business to evaluate the risks vs benefits.

 

As to loss of jobs, moving to the cloud will reduce some need for IT, but in many ways is a shift of technical expertise. Integration and management of the software side (when using virtual hosting) will still be necessary. The biggest loss would be in managing of the server infrastructure although a successful shift to cloud infrastructure requires good internet connectivity and network infrastructure.

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Given Australia's overpriced and underspeed Internet connections we have compared to other developed nations (especially wireless), it'll take a while to catch on the home front.

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Data sovereignty is a big issue, even with email.

 

We had a university here go to Cloud, Gmail, had to roll-back because their International students wanted to know where their mail was, which in the Cloud can be difficult :) The particular Uni has a large Law School - they had a field day :)

 

Bandwidth is I suppose always going to feature, it can even at LAN level, but it does keep improving in the cities, where Cloud is most likely to take on.

 

Cheers

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The easiest way around data sovereignty and inefficent/under-resourced overseas links is to get larger data centres in place in Australia. Whether or not that means new companies in Australia making use of local data sources, or international companies localising data and taking the workload off international links is a matter for businesses.

 

Google/Facebook storing Australian generated data in Australia makes so much sense it's ridiculous.

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:)

 

There are a lot of DC projects in motion in Australia, including pure hosts, dedicated facilities and extensions to OS mesh systems.

 

It will indeed help with latency, and sovereignty, the funny thing with the latter though is that some State Government departments don't just want their data national, they want it within their state.

 

Cheers

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