Do you want to work in the Cloud?

cloud_5B1_5DThe release of Chromium, the open source release of Chrome OS, has stirred up what I think is excellent debate on the merits and drawbacks of working in the Cloud, that amorphous realm of computing on the Internet. There’s still a lot of progress to be made in the areas of reliability and connectivity. My question, however, is why do (or don’t) you want to see this progress made? Do you want and/or need to be able to do your computing entirely in the Cloud and why?

For me, it’s a matter of both need and want. My job is highly reliant on a web-based manuscript processing system. This is absolutely necessary as our authors, editors, and reviewers live and work around the globe. A large portion of my job can be done from anywhere via this system and Citrix remote access to files and Microsoft Office. Thus, the cloud is essential to my work.

However, my job also requires advanced editing and manipulation of images and files in various formats, which keeps me tied to a workstation loaded with powerful client applications, such as Adobe Acrobat. Tragically and ironically, I am bound to an aging desktop (without admin rights or pen input and no budget for improvement). Thus, a complete cloud computing solution offering the freedom to do my job from any computer, most notably my own Tablet PC, holds great appeal for me.

Arguably, what I desire is not a “pure” cloud experience since my goal is primarily to bind myself to a different set of hardware with my own client-side software, albeit one tailored for my usage needs, but that’s how full cloud computing would help me. How about you?

4 Comments

  1. Dana

    11/23/2009 at 10:52 am

    I think the cloud concept is a great idea for general access and work. Like you, I do a lot of pretty special stuff and have over 275 different applications loaded up on my desktop, some purely for testing. (I write reviews) Most of them do not get used all that often but when I need them, there are really no other options available on the cloud. My solution when mobile is to use something like LogMeIn to access the desktop at home over the net. I am able to do the custom word processing and graphic handling and upload to Google docs or SkyDrive to pull it to my HP Tablet. It’s a work around but what can you do?

    Net access is still no where ubiquitous even with my eVdo card. I often attend dog shows (and show dogs) and blog from them with pics. Still not reliable in some places but it’s getting there.

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  2. tatej

    11/23/2009 at 9:50 pm

    I think cloud is a great idea. But I want the cloud I access to be my own server. I’m thinking of a Windows Home Server type device that serves applications for thin clients as well has network storage.

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  3. Charly

    11/23/2009 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve been having trouble to understand what really “cloud computing” is.

    And I believe I finally sort it out. Considering the 3 layers: infrastructure, platform and software, I believe this solution is mainly focused for business and of course it improves the way we work.

    However, there still lot of users that are not willing to abandon the model where we have to install our own applications, not only for the convinience of being able to work even without an internet connection, but also because of availability and reliability concerns (I have to mentiion they are also concerns at corporate level too).

    Personally I agree with Sumocat, a “hybrid solution”, not only for companies but also por personal use, is the best way to go now.

    Since I’m a Spanish speaker (sorry for my bad English), the information sources about cloud computing are very few, companies promoting cloud computing and SaaS, and want to expand their market to different audiences, they should spread the word about the advantages and disadvatages of this delivery model.

    I have to thank to Cloud Computing America (www.cloud-america.com a start up company in Mexico), for the way they explain what cloud computing is. Despite the web site is still under cosntruction, I think it has valuable info in English and Spanish.

    I have to thank to Sumocat for publishing this article and force me to think about the implications in my organization and in my daily routine.

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  4. Nameless

    11/27/2009 at 1:23 pm

    I don’t mind cloud computing, but ONLY if the cloud is strictly between my own machines and has provisions to function when there is no Internet connection.

    The problem is, most cloud computing services fail at both. They depend on someone else’s servers and usually require an Internet connection at all times. Not so bothersome for my desktops, but hardly suitable for my mobile computers, where I don’t need the Internet badly enough to pay for a data plan and 3G/4G modem.

    About the closest that I get to cloud computing is Dropbox. Seamless, and it does its online sync in the background when it can. No fuss.

    Another issue with the typical cloud computing model is ownership. I really noticed it with OnLive, where you don’t own the games or hardware, just rent access. I’d rather have the StreamMyGame model of owning the games and the server hardware, being able to do as I please with both. More expensive, yes, but I am unyielding when it comes to flexibility.

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