In a recent blog post, I described some of the trends I learned at a seminar entitled “Entrepreneurs in the Clouds” sponsored by Bisnow. Let’s continue.
In terms of storage, the panelists differentiated between primary storage (i.e., the data is located only in the cloud), backup storage (in case of primary storage failure), and archive storage. One of the challenges of current cloud computing models is that they rely on networks to provide access, and wide area access, even broadband, is still much slower than internal networks. This is called “latency.” For this reason, cloud storage is used more for backup and archival storage than for primary storage.
Why should organizations more their computing to the cloud? The panelists gave several reasons, including:
- Saving money overall
- Utilizing all the capacity you’re paying for (the capacity of internal servers and storage is typically only used to a relatively low percentage)
- Lowering power costs (internal server rooms use a lot of power for the computing and for air conditioning)
- Greater availability and uptime
- Being able to add new capacity much faster than you can with your own internal servers and storage
Finally, the panelists talked about the opportunities that are still out there in cloud computing. Currently, a lot of focus is on applications and techniques to reduce latency. This is particularly important because of the continued increase in use of video over the Internet (think being able to watch Netflix without choppiness or occasional pausing). The other big area is the development of standards which will allow companies to move their computing more easily from one cloud provider to another.