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Cloud Computing is a Developer-Facing Business
Cloud Computing, Data Protection and the German Mindset
By: Markus Klems
Aug. 19, 2008 04:10 PM
Markus Klems' Blog
A recent article about Cloud Computing in the German weekly ZEIT made me think of a blog post of mine on data security in the cloud. Although the article is quite positive and describes Cloud Computing as a disruptive technology that will have a huge impact on the IT world, what really caught my interest were the comments: they were very skeptical. I will translate (and eventually summarize) some of the opinions:
#1 Comment (blariog)
#2 Comment (toucheturtle) [Short summary]
#5 Comment (whauertmann) [Short summary]
#7 Comment (discha)
#9 Comment (Chemical Brother) [Short summary]
#22 Comment (blurred) [Short summary]
[... and so on ...]
I counted 29 negative comments, 11 neutral or off-topic and 2-3 more or less positive ones.
The main critique points:
1. No trust in Cloud Computing
The critique focuses on data protection and security concerns. Either people say that they don’t trust the Cloud Computing provider or they argue that an attacker might compromise their Cloud Computing account (or the Ministry of Interior might go and get your data).
2. There are better ways to deliver computing capacity
Other voices point to different mechanisms to realize Utility Computing, like sharing resources across different machines, devices, organizations, etc. (similar to P2P and Grid Computing).
Most comments name some valid points but seem prejudiced towards the Cloud. It is true, the Internet is insecure (due to design decisions from the early days, when other things were more important, like end-to-end communication, connection of heterogeneous networks, robustness, fate-sharing, etc.). But we do use the Internet today, and many people already store masses of pictures online, use E-Mail communication and Instant Messaging, Online Banking, and so on. I do not understand how people can seriously argue they won’t go into the Cloud. They are already there.
Imho this shows a big misunderstanding of Cloud Computing. It is not so much about SaaS (people already use Webmail, Google Docs, Salesforce, etc.). It is about virtualized hardware resources provided for developers as services on a pay-per-use basis. Cloud Computing is a developer-facing business.
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