If reports end up being true, the computer that you have been working on for years in your office may be a few steps away from becoming a glorified screen. The real stuff, like the computing power, files, software, etc…, may be located far away in some bank of computer servers owned by someone else. This bank, of course, is the cloud.
Cloud computing is a rapidly growing business due in main part because it promises to cut the costs of company computing. Until recently, consumers have been ahead of the industry in terms of cloud computing. Email through services like Gmail and Yahoo are cloud services. Shutterfly, a popular photo storing service, is another example of consumer cloud computing.
According to President of Datotel David Brown, “Consumers are far ahead of enterprises in this.” Businesses are starting to really jump into the action and are creating opportunities for intrepid companies. One company, Savvis, has been selling tickets to its digital cloud companies worldwide. The company’s $40 million cloud business has been doubling every year.
“We’ll probably be disappointed if we can keep growth only to 100%,” says Bill Fathers, President of Savvis. “If we can’t make this a billion-dollar business in three or four years, then we’ve not been successful.”
The actual definition of the cloud, however, is under debate. The most popular definition is that computer functions, once done in IT departments, are farmed out to a data center elsewhere. Customers then use internet connections or cell connections to access their clouds.
A broader definition includes any storage of data on the web which includes web-based email accounts like the ones from Google and Yahoo. If you visit this original site you will learn how the concept gains popularity, consumers and businesses will access the cloud from smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc… from any place they can get internet access.
Last month, CEO of Apple Steve Jobs announced iCloud for consumers. This allows users to store their iTunes music as well as documents, pictures and videos on Apple servers which will allow them to be automatically downloaded to iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers.
According to Jobs, “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to being just a device – like an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod Touch. We’re going to move the hub of your digital life to the cloud.” Businesses are close behind consumers in terms of cloud computing. This is because businesses are finding out that they can cut costs between 30% and 70% by doing so.
According to Fathers, “As a concept, it’s been around for more than 20 years. It’s only in the last 12 to 18 months that the technology advanced so as to realize the promise . The underlying technology has gotten cheaper – things like processors, servers and bandwidth.”
Source: The Gazette – Cloud’s sudden ascent offers new opportunities, headaches alike