I'm really glad to see discussions around Cloud Computing, but I'm curious to hear more of the details. Is cloud computing just an abstraction layer to the end-user? How do I know I'm computing in the cloud? What are the most important trends to understand? What applications will be most widely used within the cloud, is it everything?
I'd really like more on cloud computing 101 and most popular use cases.
Lots of good questions here and some I will try and address in more detail in future Blogs, in the meantime here are a few short answer to your questions.
'Is cloud computing just an abstraction layer to the end-user?'
No, in the enterprise its more about a biz model that enables a more flexible and responsive IT infrastructure, whereas in consumer space its more focused on a massively scaleable delivery mechanism for consumer apps.
'How do I know I'm computing in the cloud?'
One of the joys of using the Internet today is that you never know where the server is that hosting the web-site or application that you are accessing and with URL re-mapping even within an enterprise the site/application you think is located internally may actually be hosted externally. From a users perspective its all about delivery of the info rather than caring about where the info comes from.
'What are the most important trends to understand?'
When looking to provide a cloud infrastructure it important to understand what's happening in terms of performance and energy efficiency in latest generation server designs. From a Cloud 'consumption' perspective I touched on some of the key issues in my Blog here.
'What applications will be most widely used within the cloud, is it everything?'
We are seeing software vendors offering a wide range of applications for use within the cloud, eg CRM from Salesforce.com, DB2 & Webshere from IBM to name abut a few.For many enterprises the initial apps they deploy will likely be non-mission critical apps such as recritment, expenses tools etc Whilst smaller businesses and consumers will more likely utilize a wider range of application types, e- email, storage, or even word processing and spreadsheets as offered by Google.