Still thinking about the internet burping…

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I wonder sometimes about the concept of cloud. Not that I think it is misnamed or a misnomer, rather that it is a concept that is stretched by the various vendors to the overall snapping point.

There are banners in airports that say “we are private cloud.” Newspaper and magazine adds that talk to the concept of “cloud” that I worry about.

Its not simply the act of anointing your new private cloud (that was the closet in your data center). Its not that various vendors have fractured what cloud means.

Really it is about the concept itself, I promise. The concept of shared computing which in the end is what cloud is. You see I fear bandwidth. I told people ten years ago that when home network access got better the internet and what was to become cloud computing would explode. Look at what happened, home bandwidth exploded and so did the internet. Now my concern is the total capacity of the internet to handle all this traffic. Sure I love watching my tv anywhere and tuning into my netflix account to watch movies, but each time I am sucking the essential bandwidth of the internet. Remember what happened on 9/11? Cellular service ground to a halt.

There is a finite amount of bandwidth available, today. What do we do when the internet burps?



The promise of the cloud

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In the rush to cloud did we skip a step?

Everyone is cloud enabling everything right now. From cloud backup services to cloud enabled SaaS (email) to cloud enabled productivity (office in the cloud, Google apps, and so on).

Did we in affect forget something?

Sure security is better. Solutions are better but we haven’t changed the original problem. A few vendors have dominated computer software for a long time. Isn’t the cloud a chance to do things differently? There have been four or five names at the top of the software leaderboard for a long time and frankly I think its time for a change.

The cloud should enable the little developer to be effective. The massive monolithic software vendors can’t react to or function in the cloud as effectively as the smaller more agile shops.

Why is it then that the same five or six names are dominating cloud that have dominated software for so long? The first thing is that they have money. Because they have money they can pay for a lot of the R&D that smaller shops can’t do. While crowdsourcing is huge opportunity it isn’t real yet.

The other problem remains that the world isn’t ready for the cloud concepts yet. One of them being the concept of everyone getting the same shot at information. While I acknowledge that isn’t a cloud tenet, (its actually a tenet of the Internet) it is an important aspect of what cloud could be.

If we all start from the same place, any lead developed is at that point earned, not simply because they started ahead.


First thoughts on iCloud

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The cloud tablet.

Or, Icloud first thoughts.

I installed and began operating an instance (and then a second) of Icloud last week. It is intriguing, especially since I can also use the services with my pc.

My initial thoughts are below:

  • Ease of set-up (high)
  • size of drive (small)
  • Synchronization seems fine

I am probably not the optimal apple customer – I have two movies and one album I’ve bought on-line in the apple store. So I don’t sync as much as other people do.

I did fine out pretty quickly that my iPod touch has too much stuff on it to backup to the iCloud today – that is something I will have to think about going forward. The world of on-line storage has its costs and you in the end have to have the right combination of features and size to make everything work out.


Waxing philosophical on a Friday…

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To me right now the cloud presents the greatest single opportunity for change the world has seen or even had a chance to accomplish since the printing press made books more and more readily available.

Excerpt that now all the books ever written could fit into the palm of your hand.

The universe not in huge text book or reference book driven gulps but instead the sips known to use as Wikipedia. Tiny, small sips that can carry every bit of the value of the previous huge reference books.

Except that all knowledge can be discovered by a device in the palm of your hand.

I dreamed of the day when I was a child although my dream was much larger as I had a briefcase. Now it is the palm of my hand

Eventually they will be smaller (wearable) and the future will continue to be closer and closer to a place people want to engage with.

A future where everyone will have an equal chance at information. Perhaps my briefcase dream that is now a palm sized device was only the beginning.



If, if only, if and when

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It is a horrible word. It speaks to what may be. Never oh never to what is, always to what may be or what could have been. If, when I was a teacher, there had been Ipads for students and the wealth of data, information and applications focused on building and delivering technology for students, I might still be a teacher.

The path of course to if is rocky and frankly there were a lot of reasons I left teaching that had nothing to do with technology (a profession stuck in the mud because of things outside of what the profession is doing, is bad). The unequal distribution of money for schools alone would have forced me out at some point. The reality of a world where an athlete makes 10 million a year and the volunteer coach who taught him how to be, well him, gets nothing other than maybe an autograph or a mention at an award speech.


Makes me sad sometimes to think of what could me. Oh well. Water under the bridge.

I wrote an essay about my dream, the Eduverse. I realize how much change that would represent to the world. Imagine a place where everyone got the same shot at education.


A bright future to bright to block with sunglasses

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What does tomorrows cloud look like? It is a question that I find more and more intriguing. The thing about computing is that well things change so the reality is that things won’t be as they are today.

I believe the services we have today will begin to fade to the background (IaaS, PaaS, etc) and will be absorbed as the established “Infrastructure of the CLOUD or IOC). These services will move from consumed to baseline, with the variables remaining overall consumed computing power and storage.

The new services, Information, Business Process and eventually directory will become the new consumed services. These of course will over time move into the overall consumed layer. But for the next wave they will be the new services.

This leads me back of course to my Syncverse posts of a year ago. The reality of the data we have is that we need to do three things with it:

  • Share it
  • Use it, regardless of device and location
  • Share it again once we’ve made the mobile, laptop, desktop and other changes to it

A future so bright sunglasses won’t begin to reduce the glare…


Another day at a conference

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I went to a cloud conference today (hence the end of day post rather than my usually early am post).Its nice to hear other people thinking similar thoughts to what you are thinking.

I always learn something at a conference in many cases reinforcement for what I already knew, but always something. Today it was that many people are considering their cloud options and so are many organizations.

But everyone is still trying to define cloud computing.

NIST has done a pretty good job of laying out the ground work which everyone is willing to go to market with, but there is still the lingering doubt.

Can you wave your magic wand and automatically convert your existing data center into a private cloud (my cloud).?