Cloud Thoughts

In this entry I am going to cover the basics of cloud computing, which will in turn provide a kick off point for my future blog entries I have in the works.  I will explain in this entry what cloud computing is, where it exists, how it works, and most importantly the greatest benefits it provides over existing computing models.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing provides a highly redundant, vastly scalable, computationally scalable internet based shared computing.  The cloud provides the redundancy, scalability, and computing power in an on demand fashion.

Where does the Cloud Exist?

The cloud exists within the context of the Internet.  One can pinpoint certain locations for particular clouds from Amazon, Microsoft, or Google but one never really knows where the physical machines are that have the particular software, services, data, or computational power.  They can exist in any of a number of facilities throughout the world.

How does the Cloud Work?

The resources; computing power, data storage, bandwidth, or any other needs are shifted throughout the various facilities around the world as they are needed.  These are setup as content delivery networks to assure that requesting computers receive the data, computations, and bandwidth they need upon demand.

What exactly does the Cloud provide?

This question could be answered with a huge list of positives.  However, the most often stated capability that a cloud provides is the ability for a company to start an online application for a moderate monthly cost and scale that application to vast proportions at the mere click of a few options.  The fact that someone could create a Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or something else of that sort and scale it without needing millions and millions of dollars (as those sites did).  This opens the Internet back up to the entrepreneur of modest means to create things that otherwise would be impossible.  Think of it, as the ability of the garage hacker of yesteryear to get back in the game!

Some other advantages include;

  • The ability to have a fully scalable back end system without the need for a dedicated, full-time network operations center.  This is all inclusive in the price of the cloud.
  • One thing I find keen, is that the pricing actually encourages and pushes developers to make more intelligent architectural decisions in how the design the software they put into the cloud.  There is enough software out there that is a pure catastrophe that a little encouragement to do things right is welcome in my opinion.

In subsequent blog entries I will be working off of this basic description of what the cloud is.  I will elaborate on the individual aspects and yes I will have some code coming this way very soon.  Keep your head in the clouds and enjoy the reading.