What is cloud computing

The end of the 19th Century saw the emergence of large scale centralized electric utilities.

This has caused wide disruptions in the electric power industry since businesses and factories then built and managed their own power supply.

Teleport a hundred years forward and you see the same scenario happening in the information and computing industry.

Companies buy and maintain their own power generators err – computers, data centers, storage drives, network switches, software and not to mention the hiring of pricey IT specialists.

Google and Microsoft may not be the first movers that saw this transition but they are the 800-pound gorillas fighting tooth and nail to be first in this what we call cloud computing.

Amazon has long been into the cloud business with its Amazon web services.

There are also dozens of boutique cloud companies offering their services to small businesses.

What is cloud computing?

Why do you need to care about it?

Put simply, it is being able to access resources and services on-demand from a computer network.

The internet makes cloud computing almost friction-free.

To illustrate: I have tons of HD videos and gigs of pictures hosted on the Amazon cloud.

My pdfs and docs are liberally distributed to both Dropbox and Sugarsync.

Well, I still email some of my files to my own Gmail address – my old on the fly indispensable backup.

I share spreadsheets and documents using Google Docs.

Anytime and anywhere

But what’s great about these cloud services is not only the backups that you get but these files can be accessed anytime and anywhere with your mobile units (iPad, iPhone, tablet).

No files left behind!

If you have a small business then the cloud would just be right for you. There is basecamp for your project management needs.

There’s outright.com and bill.com for your finance and accounting requirements, then there’s salesforce.com for your marketing campaigns and sales management.

I like the tagline of salesforce.com— “no hardware, no software, no headaches.”

Most of these cloud hosting services are free. A minimal monthly fee if you want to scale up.

Oh! I almost forgot skype for your long-distance phone calls.

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 3:33am