Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is "The Cloud"?

"The Cloud" is "The Internet".  It's another embarrassingly deceptive Information Technology Marketing Invention. I hate the term, but the services are here to stay.  They have some distinct advantages for some types of businesses.  For single end-users, there is only one:

  • Having a single, central access to your files and applications, from where ever you are, through any computer.
The disadvantage for single end-users are:
  • If you have no Internet access, you cannot access your files and applications.
  • Using your files and applications efficiently is entirely dependent upon the speed of your (current) Internet connection.
  • The speed of your (current) Internet connection is entirely dependent upon:
    1. How well the current ISP is managing their network.
    2. How well your Cloud Provider is managing their network.
    3. Internet conditions beyond the control of either the ISP or your Cloud Provider.
I do use some Cloud Services because they are very convenient, however, I am not dependent on them.  I can switch back to entirely using my computers within a few hours, without losing any files or application functions.  This is because -- while they are very convenient, I frequently curse them and consider dumping them because they frequently fail for one reason or another -- usually when I need them the most.

To be objective -- I expect that reliability problems will eventually improve to a point where Cloud services are a totally good thing.  But, "It ain't there, yet."

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