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How Cloudy is the Future of the Cloud?

Posted by Sravan | February 5, 2009 .

Cloud computing is today a fascinating and challenging subject in computer science and a fast-catching buzzword with the online-crazy world. But how soon and how successfully can or will it catch up?

I am surprised at the rate at which people have already embraced the chance of trusting the web with their personal details. Ranting about employers through blogs, writing on the walls of Facebook, uploading party photos and videos on Flickr and Youtube, and answering the question “What are you doing?” on Twitter are one side. Using online tools to share documents and calendars, store passwords, and let friends stalk them through Google Latitude are another. The enthusiasm rings positive for the Cloud.

But using a Google Drive instead of local drives? Perhaps because it seems like a revolutionary idea, I’m shocked more than hopeful about this.

Healthcare, finance and defense corporations could be tough to tame for the tech giants offering cloud services. Imagine the demand for HA/DR and Security in such scenarios. The day Google “went down” for forty minutes, the world cried “Terminator 3: Rise of Machines”.

That a bank would use cloud services for all of its operations feels like a careless thing to do. A customer never knows about the physical location of his or her account and transactions. He trusts the bank to secure them, and with the Cloud not only would the bank not be able to pinpoint the physical location of the account details, but it would potentially give access to the cloud services provider regardless of the privacy policies.

I am not saying that cloud computing is a trap or that it is insane. (That was Richard Stallman and Larry Ellison.) People don’t mind sharing their personal details, but they mind their trusted service providers sharing their personal details with other third parties. Unless, those providing cloud services are only targeting end users as their potential customers.

What do you think about the Cloud?

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