Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, famously remarked, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” It looks like he might have guessed too many.
Cloud computing is one of the hottest trend in IT. Basically, cloud computing is shifting software and memory resources away from personal computers toward a common network hub shared by many computers. Think YouTube: Years ago, the only way to view video from the Internet was to download the file and play it locally, which meant worrying about incompatible file formats and delays due to long download times. With YouTube, the video is stored and played remotely: a remote server compresses the video and feeds it to your computer after you push play.
Cloud computing is the same concept. The operating system and programs are all stored remotely and shared by users, and most of the computing power is housed at the remote location, drastically reducing the need for processing power at personal computers. In other words, you trade in dozens of complex machines for simple ones, little more than monitors, keyboards, and mouses.
This system has several advantages:
Need proof that cloud computing is the way to go? Just look at Hyper9’s success. Hyper9 is a two-year-old vendor of proprietary platform virtualization software. Normally, a tech-services startup would be fighting for its life against the arctic economic climate, but the company is comfortably in the black.
CTO Dave McCrory explains that economic hardship is driving companies toward virtualization to cut overhead, and Hyper9 produces the software platform needed to manage that kind of system. Companies are scrambling to jump on the cloud computing bandwagon to reap a quick ROI.
“In my 10 years with the company, this is one of the fastest adoptions I’ve seen,” Zane Adam, Microsoft’s senior director of virtualization strategy said of Hyper-V’s, Microsoft’s free cloud-computing platform, rapid uptake. And VMWare, cloud computing’s biggest player, is adding 300 jobs to its 6,300-strong workforce.
Bottom line: Most of us missed the boat on the Internet. Jump on board cloud computing while it’s still cheap.