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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cloud Buzz in a Nut Shell

It is still early for the cloud-related market. However, cloud related topics are buzzing around and that make people wonder: what exactly is it so exciting?

For example, today there is a WSJ article titled “Google Goes to the Cloud for New Idea in PC System” that talks about Chrome OS on a laptop. Is this all cloud computing is about or is this just a small piece of it?

3 big use cases about cloud computing

To understand the current cloud computing movements, first we need to understand the 3 big categories:

1. Storage – online storage, storage from the web or just “Cloud Storage”.

More specifically, it refers to Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Windows Azure, EMC Atmos, Mezeo, Scality, Nirvanix and a bunch of other companies providing infrastructures that allowing scalable storage to be delivered across the Internet.

2. Application – online applications or web applications

More specifically, it refers to applications such as GMail, Salesforce.com, Google Docs, Evernotes and many others that can run just from any web browser.

3. CPU – virtual machines from the Internet.

More specifically, it refers to Amazon EC2 kind of environment that you can start/stop virtual machines on demand and billed by usage.


Local Operating System

Interestingly, these 3 big use cases about cloud computing mirrors what we know locally

1. Storage – such as C Drive, USB Drive, Thumb Drive

2. Application – such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop

3. CPU – such as the laptop and desktops in their physical form


Which Use Case Fits You?

1. Cloud Storage Use Case - If you have applications that requires a local PC, such as playing iTune music and video, editing video, burning a CD, software programming and compilation, photo and graphics editing and gaming, you prefer to keep the local app but trying to leverage cloud storage.

2. Cloud Application Use Case – If your main application is email, salesforce, evernote, or other not CPU intensive and not too human interactive applications, you prefer to run them directly from a web browser, such as from within a Chrome OS, an iPad or any other small form factor and light weighted devices.

3. Cloud CPU Use Case – If you have a dedicated web server, sql server, exchange server, you can move them all over to Amazon EC2 or EC2-like kind of environment. It is cheaper and it is easier to manage.

So now comes back to the Chrome OS article, you can see it fits into the #2 use case related to cloud computing.

Where does Gladinet Fit In?

Gladinet fits into the #1 use case, Cloud Desktop allows you to save directly from local desktop/laptop to cloud storage. Cloud AFS simulates a file server and allows you to save to cloud with file system calls. Cloud Backup allows you to backup to the cloud storage.

When we break down the cloud storage use cases, it actually has sub-categories, such as personal cloud storage, workstation/server backup and file server replacement. Gladinet has a cloud storage access suite that provide solutions to these use cases.

Related Posts:

A List of Cloud Storage Providers and Their Niches

How to Pick a Cloud Storage Service

How to Pick a Cloud Storage Gateway

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