Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cloud computing on the horizon?

More and more you see references to a big push into cloud computing. According to those who watch for the next big trends in computing, Cloud Computing is poised to revolutionize the entire internet.

To be sure, it has already had a significant impact inside corporations with large data-processing needs. Seti@Home and, more recently, Folding@Home have broadened public awareness of the possibilities, but a general computing platform where cpu cycles are a virtualized concept for sell to the public the same way megabytes of disk space are has yet to find its champion for the masses.

Perhaps Microsoft will change all that. Certainly Amazon's S3 and similar virtualization technologies have shown the potential market for such services... it remains to be seen how well it can be sold to the average user, and how willing they might be to offer up their own computer cycles to the "cloud" in exchange for some impressive computing horsepower when they happen to need it. How much monetization can be done in this realm? And how powerfully will open-source respond to try and ensure that the cloud with the most horse power is the free and opensource - instead of closed and for-profit?

Interesting times are ahead, of that - at least -there can be little doubt.


Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Rumor: Microsoft set for vast data-center push