What is Cloud Computing?

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Created by Sam Johnston from Wikipedia

There are quite a few CAD people talking about cloud computing in 2010. It’s a term that has been extremely overused (kind of like “social media” ) so I thought a quick post might help lift the fog wink

Acording to Wikipedia, “The term ‘cloud’ is used as a metaphor for the Internet”. There are a number of more tangible technologies that make up Cloud computing with names like SaaS, HaaS/IaaS, Web services, SOA, MSP, and Web 2.0. For this post, lets keep things simple and avoid the acronyms and fancy names.

Below is a short youtube video that explains cloud computing in a simple and direct way.

I’ll also point you to a simple “How Stuff Works” article which explains a bit why cloud computing is useful.

Of course, as with most things ,cloud computing creates some concerns. In Ira WInkler’s “The Real Problem With Cloud Computing”, he says “Cloud computing puts your data outside of your organization”. He is concerned with security and levels of control that may be missing in a Cloud bases solution.

After security, the next concern is the network. Moving data between your computer /network device to the cloud takes more time than moving to your local harddrive. Applications need to make efficient use of the bandwidth and/or networks need to be upgraded to support the greater volume of data and higher levels of reliability. These problem lead to a trust problem that has slowed cloud computing in its early years. However, IMHO, trust is building and Gartner has identified it as one of 2010 top strategic Technologies.

Now I haven’t really touched on what this all means to PLM and CAD. It something that does come up in many discussions and I think that its going to be an interesting topic for 2010. So stay tuned…

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/news/what-is-cloud-computing/