Cloud Computing Can Change Computer World (Apr. 17, 2009) — Clouds are on the horizon and could change the way we use computers forever. Cloud computing has the potential to bring about irreversible changes in the way computers are used around the world.

computer-cloud“The cloud computing phenomenon is more than just another technological fad – it combines the benefits of outsourcing and pay-per-use and provides companies with a springboard for further innovation”, explains Jordi Torres, coordinator of the Cloud Computing (CC) research team at the UPC, which works under the supervision of the High Performance Computing Group, is in New York.

In general terms, cloud computing can be described as a web architecture that allows users to work and save information online.

David Carrera, one of the directors of the CC team, said “The aim is to move all of the applications installed on our computers to a remote location.” In other words, to do away with a number of standard components, including operating systems and hard disks, and make them accessible through an online desktop accessed via a standard browser.

The CC team is also researching systems for coordinating the thousands of terminals and nodes that make up the cloud, which is one of the principal concerns of companies in the IT sector.

In the opinion of Ricard Gavaldà, the real magic of cloud computing lies in the automatic and intelligent management of the software and hardware used by thousands of computers: “By applying artificial intelligence to the cloud, we are hoping to develop a system through which computers can manage themselves”. This is known as ‘autonomic computing’.

‘Virtualization’, ‘utility computing’ and ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) are key concepts in understanding the potential of the cloud. Their basic function is to create multiple virtual machines within a single physical computer to make it more efficient.

Utility computing is the provision of computational resources, such as processing or storage, as if they were traditional public utilities (electricity, water and gas). The advantage of this system is its low cost, as the hardware required is extremely cheap and the resources themselves are essentially rented.

It will also have a significant impact on the business sector and the wider community, although its specific repercussions in Catalonia are yet to be seen. While some companies are already working in this field, such as eyeOS and Abiquo, many others in the ICT sector will clearly have to adjust their business strategies to accommodate such far-reaching changes.

2 thoughts on “Cloud Computing Can Change Computer World

  • April 17, 2009 at 11:21 am

    First of all, I’m all for it, but isn’t cloud computing just the latest buzzword to describe remote terminal access to centralized processing?

    The way I see it, the only hardware a user needs is a display that is designed to merely provide a user with the graphical portion of applications running remotely and with support for what I’ll call ‘rich user input options’.

    The device that’s needed, and doesn’t really exist yet, for cloud computing to work, is a remote display/input device that isn’t trying to be a computer. This would be essentially a modern-day X terminal. X itself seems to be the perfect way to achieve cloud computing to me.

  • April 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Cloud computing is advocated by Google as they will help applications to levarage internet accessible services but it will also come with several problems like:

    * Primitive user interfaces
    * Long waits for services to respond
    * Problems when the network is down or unavailable

    On the other hand In-house computing isn’t full proof but you aren’t limited to other company to fix the problems rather than your resources working on your problem. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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