Cloud technology is evolving so quickly that it’s near impossible to keep up with all of its developments. We’re not even going to try ourselves. Let’s instead do a brief news summary of some of the biggest recent advances in this field.
China flies further into the cloud
Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced this week that they will be building a 7,500 square meter cloud data center facility for Range Technology Development, a Chinese cloud provider. The press release stated that this is a reaction to expanding customer needs, both private and governmental. It further stated that the data center will be designed to fit “carbon emission reduction plans” in the country.
Here’s why this is a very interesting development. While this isn’t the first introduction of the cloud to China, this is a technology that may soon run the risk of running afoul of Great Firewall standards. While crafty users have always found a way around China’s notorious censorship, now, more than ever, the country will need to provide to businesses a more sanction method of getting outside of it in order to remain competitive.
Cloud technologies are becoming increasingly distributed. The trend of advancements in this field is for farmed out bits of the web to become smaller and smaller. This is going to make it all but impossible for state agencies to keep a lid on what kind of data goes in and out. How they will deal with this problem once they realize the breadth of it is an open question.
Cloud9 goes dark but stays on
The unexpected state-wide blackout that hit California in early September had one positive benefit: it wound up being an effective test run for how well the cloud would handle disaster-level situations. While the news article detailing how well Cloud9 dealt with it very much reads like a company-written press release, there’s no reason not to believe that it’s accurate. If that’s the case, the answer to this is “blazingly well.” The article states that not a single customer was affected by the outage.
Let us remember that this was the whole point behind the design of the internet in the first place: to make a network so robust that even a nuclear strike couldn’t disable it. In that sense, cloud technology is one of the developments that is looking to further realize this original idea. We could very well be entering an era in which downtime seriously starts to become a thing of the past.
WeVideo introduces cloud-based video editing
This is a simple concept, but one that has the potential to seriously take off. WeVideo has launched the first cloud-based collaborative video editing web site. It’s difficult to say for certain from a glance, but it looks like they thought of all of the basics. The site seems easy to use while still containing enough editing options to create high-quality videos. It’s already set to work well with different types of smart phones and tablets, and to make sharing on social networks easy.
Nevertheless it’s the underlying idea that’s exciting. Even for the experienced user, video editing can be hard, laborious work. Using the cloud to allow editing by multiple users seems like the kind of idea whose time has come. We’ll keep a close eye on it and see if it is.
CloudLinux doubles in size
CloudLinux Inc. announced recently that its operating system, CloudLinux OS, is now being run on more than 5,000 servers, double the amount of just six months ago. CloudLinux bills its product as the only commercially supported shared hosting Linux OS. It has the notable feature that each user account is put into its own Lightweight Virtual Environment. This allows the administrator to put up safeguards that prevent a single bad user from impacting the entire server, the most common problem on shared hosting servers. In that way it’s much like virtual private servers, and is designed to work with them, but without the level of virtualization that makes it appear like you are the only user on that machine.
With simple shared hosting starting to get squeezed out by all of the other hosting services providing more reliability at not much more cost, this is a development worth watching. If this OS succeeds, expect to see others start to adopt some of CloudLinux’s tricks.
App developers find a Buddy
What Buddy Platform, Inc. has opened up for beta use is simultaneously expected and exciting. As the number of portable devices grows and along with it the number of desired apps, programmers need to pump out their material faster. Buddy helps in this endeavor by providing for developers APIs of common application functions such as user accounts, photo albums, location-based services and so forth. The APIs would be in the cloud, accessed by the apps.
The short-term gain from this is that applications, especially those from budding freelancers and small IT firms who have limited resources but have ideas that are based on thinking outside the box, will come more frequently and be of higher overall quality. The long-term gain is even more fascinating. If this trend sticks, it means that programming will become even more distributed, opening up more opportunities outside of traditional IT business channels.
Trying to capture the cloud
For our last news item we come to an article which proves that cloud technology is operating by a new set of rules. Marketing research firm Research and Markets (couldn’t they have chosen just a slightly less redundant name?) has added to their list of research publications the Frost & Sullivan report “Cloud Data Analytics: Technology Penetration and Roadmapping”.
As cloud technology rapidly develops, trying to get accurate cost-benefit data is going to prove increasingly labyrinthine. Even just trying to determine who is using your technology at any point will be difficult. What Frost & Sullivan is offering is surely going to be something that you’re going to see more often. Even hosting providers can’t tell just from looking at it exactly where the edges of the cloud are anymore.