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What is the Cloud? (Answer: the new name for the internet)

Intro/overview to what the Cloud buzzword means and what is really important about it

Julian Egelstaff

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of What is the Cloud? (Answer: the new name for the internet)

What is the Cloud?
Daniel Boyd
Randall Munroe
Creative Commons Attributions:
Technical Innovation
Empowering Users
Two dimensions of Internet buzzwords
Web 2.0
Social Networking
The Cloud
HTML plus Javascript to create more "interactive" web pages
Lots more Javascript, asynchonrous communication with the server, simpler and smoother page designs, user-centric applications like blogging
Even greater user-centric designs and self-publishing options, plus an
"identify layer" that is not part of the underlying Internet protocols
Software that runs on the web, not on your own computer.
"Virtual computers" that exist in the web, not as boxes anyone can touch.
Where does this term come from?
How you draw the Internet when there are millions of computers on it
Information from the "cloud"
A service in the "cloud"
Your information in the "cloud"
How you draw the Internet when you know all the computers that are part of it
Why do we call one "cloud-based" and not the other?
The cloud is about "your information" on the Internet
People thought they were crazy!
But today there are lots of "cloud-based" services
Some examples....

Google Docs - docs.google.com
Prezi - prezi.com
Dropbox - dropbox.com
Flickr - flickr.com
Pixlr - pixlr.com
Smartsheet - smartsheet.com
Microsoft Office Web Apps - office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps
But wait, there's more!
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was another name for the Cloud
No surprise it was beaten by "the Cloud"
SaaS is an alternative to traditional ways of deploying software in an organization
You can also run your own SaaS-style applications, in the Cloud
Compared to other Cloud Services, SaaS-style services are aimed at organizations more than individuals, and support processes instead of replacing desktop applications
Some SaaS-style Cloud-based apps:
Google Apps (like Google Docs, but for organizations)
Freshbooks - freshbooks.com
SurveyMonkey - surveymonkey.com
So what?! Why do people care so much about the Cloud?
Better security (data centres vs. server in your closet)
Easy to get started (replaces installing software on all your desktops)
Accessible from anywhere (replaces VPN)
Accessible by everyone in the org (replaces fileserver)
Automatically patched and kept up to date (replaces updates to desktop software)
Automatically updated with new features and improvements (replaces the upgrade cycle)
Lower cost in some cases (subscription versus desktop licenses)
Not as full-featured as desktop software
Not as powerful/performant as desktop software
Data is not directly under your control
No choice about upgrades/changes
Higher bandwidth costs from your ISP
Is the Cloud more than just the new name for the Internet?
Your computing needs change over time
"Cloud computing" can add and remove hardware to a website in response to demand
"Cloud Computing" is a new technique for operating a data centre
The Cloud is part of a major milestone in computing history
There have only been
milestones this big, so far
0. Mainframes
1. Client-Server
2. Mobile-and-the-Cloud
Instead of servers, we now have giant, distributed, multi-computer applications, deployed on any web-connected device, not just PCs.
The map of the Internet used to be like this....
Now it's more like this....
Julian Egelstaff, Freeform Solutions
SaaS services
Mobile apps
Some Cloud Computing Services:
Amazon EC2, S3
Microsoft Azure
"Cloud servers" at Zunicore, Rackspace and other hosting providers
Shameless plug: Freeform provides cloud servers to non-profits, through Zunicore
Full transcript