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Entering the Era of the Cloud

The Grid Computing Now! webinar on Cloud computing is now available on the GCN web site. We had to make some last-minute changes because Alan Williamson was unable to join us; so after Ross Cooney finished his presentation, he and I had an extended discussion, including several questions sent in be the audience. It went very well; a couple of times I wondered whether I should bring the broadcast to an early close, only to receive new questions from the audience that kept the debate going.

We covered many issues, but perhaps the key issue was when to use cloud and when to keep provision in-house. This depends on measurement and requirements (doesn't everything?). In the case of EMailCloud, Ross estimates that if a server will be kept well utilised for more than 8 hours a day, it is cheaper to run that machine in-house, while using the cloud for peak loads, disaster recovery, and so forth. We went into more detail than that - if you're interested, watch the webinar!

We also covered the issue of interoperability. This is vital for users, because cloud services do fail. Ross develops his applications for two vendors, which is an overhead for him. The industry needs some common interfaces. In my opinion, these will only come about if users and smaller vendors push for them. The big vendors will each be hoping to be the next Google and will see commonality as a threat.

Take a look!

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