Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is Google in taking us up into the Clouds?

Imagine a world where you don’t need to worry about data. Where your files are only accessible by you, from anywhere around the world, on any device you wish to use. One immediately starts to worry about security, accessibility, backup, but are these real issues or are they a reflection of how we thought yesterday, when we have to own physical things ourselves in order that they we ‘safe’?

We are all familiar with the concept of servers that store data and effectively make this happen within a localised environment such as a company or service and the migration of applications onto these same servers making the demands on the client machine smaller. Cloud Computing just takes this a step, or leap, further.

To know how you'll be using computers and the Internet in the coming years, consider the typical Google employee his software and data--from pictures and videos, to presentations and e-mails all reside on the Web. They are already starting to practices what is considered by many technology experts to be ‘cloud computing’. Google already lets people port some of their personal data to the Internet and use its Web-based software. Google Calendar organizes events, Picasa stores pictures, YouTube holds videos, Gmail stores e-mails, and Google Docs houses documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

It is widely expected that Google will launch a service next year that will let people store the contents of entire hard drives online. Industry watchers believe that Google will pull together its disparate cloud-computing offerings under a larger umbrella service. But they are not alone, Amazon's Simple Storage Service, offers unlimited and inexpensive online storage, AOL’s Xdrive services offer a capacity of 50 gigabytes and Microsoft’s SkyDrive, is currently in beta, with a one-gigabyte free storage limit.

Yahoo, Microsoft, and Apple are all sitting atop huge volumes of people's personal information and a number of online applications, but these need to be integrated. Many now believe Google has the culture to push the boundaries and tie together the pieces of cloud computing to make it happen.