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Hey! You! Get off of my cloud

Feb. 9, 2018
by Mark Ollig

Compaq Computer lays claim for having first coined the term “cloud computing,” by using a cloud as a visual computing network reference in a 1996 technical manual.

I first wrote my thoughts about cloud computing nearly nine years ago, in a column prophetically titled, “Is the future of computing in the clouds?”

I’ve come to realize it is.

Cloud computing from a remote computing data server operates to network people, machinery, and electronic mechanisms with numerous interfaces, including the Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, autonomous devices, smart devices, and, coming soon to a cloud platform near you, artificial intelligence.

Many organizations and everyday computing users have their software applications and stored files accessible from a remote computing data server (cloud), which is maintained by cloud computing providers such as IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and Amazon Web Services.

These and other cloud providers deliver software application resources to our computing devices via an encrypted, virtual private network connection over the internet.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing service enabling computer users to access their daily software application resources over an internet connection, instead of having them stored on their local hard drives, smart devices, or in-house business computer servers.

An example of SaaS is when we use our Google Mail or Gmail. Our Gmail account is accessing a software application in a remotely-located data center.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud service providing a computing networking arrangement for multiple locations, allocated data resource distribution, security, backing up of data, and more.

IaaS is the virtual data center in the cloud, versus having the physical data equipment, file storage, software operating system, site networking, and program applications located at the end user’s location.

Synergy Research Group reported the cloud market grew by more than 40 percent in 2017.

Who are the top cloud service providers?

Amazon Web Services has captured a significant portion of the global cloud computing market, over Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Alibaba Cloud.

Alibaba Cloud is China’s largest cloud computing company. It has six data center clouds within China.

They also provide cloud computing services in India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Germany, Dubai, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Alibaba Cloud is the official cloud services provider for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Microsoft was the top overall revenue-generating cloud provider for 2017, with $20 billion; followed by IBM, which generated $17 billion, per a recent report by Evans Strategic Communications in Forbes magazine.

Amazon’s 2017 fourth quarter information is not yet available, but their reported cloud revenues for the first three quarters of 2017 were $12.34 billion.

There is talk within the cloud computing industry of Amazon’s fast growth, and some feel Amazon will overtake Microsoft in 2018.

Cloud computing has become a substantial revenue-generating business, and is growing each year.

I use my cellular provider (Verizon) to store my phone’s photos, music, Adobe PDF, MS Word documents, and text files; along with my phone contacts, and saved text messages using their physical data storage servers inside what I learned are 29 clouds (data centers).

Last May, Equinix, based in California, purchased Verizon’s clouds for $3.6 billion, and now controls 179 data center clouds around the world.

I currently store 12,132 photos and videos, along with 141 documents; most of which are Bits & Bytes columns I worked on while away from my laptop.

As for “cloud-backup redundancy,” Google and Amazon clouds also store my data.

The internet we use at home or from the coffee house is considered a public cloud; we access our Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL email from it, and of course, visit websites.

A private cloud’s computing resources are managed privately within an organization, yet it offers many of the same benefits as a public cloud.

The private cloud provides an organization internal control, firewalled security, and flexibility over the software and hardware within the computing data center (cloud) used by personnel within the organization.

Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds. They are used for backup purposes and as a safety measure; utilizing the public cloud whenever an outage occurs within the private cloud.

Many clouds hover above us in the computing sky, and one can’t forecast which will grow in size, drop some rain, cause a storm, dissipate into nothingness, or gently drift by unnoticed.

You may be wondering what my favorite cloud is?

Well, I do enjoy seeing the occasional white, puffy cumulus cloud gently floating high above me against a deep-blue sky.

I am surprised none of the computing cloud providers obtained the rights to use the Rolling Stones’ famous 1965 song. “Get Off of My Cloud.” in their advertisements.

After thinking it over, they probably want everyone on their cloud, instead of off of it.

It’s still a good song, though.

Be sure to visit my web blog at http://bitscolumn.blogspot.com.


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