Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Think You Know Cloud Computing?

In a new report, researchers identify what it really means and where the challenges lie.
February 12, 2009

Most people think they have a pretty good idea what “cloud computing” is. From Flickr to Google Calendar, it seems we all make use of the cloud in one way or another.

But researchers at the University of California, Berkeley felt that the meaning of the term “cloud computing,” could be clarified.

So, in an effort to define cloud computing and identify the challenges and opportunities it presents, they have posted a white paper, a presentation, and a YouTube video on the topic. And on Thursday, Armando Fox, a professor at Berkeley, presented highlights from the summary, called Above the Clouds, at Berkeley’s annualElectrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Symposium.

In essence, Fox said, cloud computing is a utility that gives anyone the access to virtually unlimited, and variable amounts of, computing power on demand. This is to be distinguished, he said, from ideas that have existed for many years such as software-as-a-service, or using hosting services, or remote servers. What’s new about cloud computing according to Fox is that Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others have a working model that provides pay-as-you-go access to utility computing, essentially enabling a single person to design applications that can use thousands of computers at once. (See “The Digital Utility,” “Cheap Infrastructure,” and “Google’s Cloud Looms Large.)

There’s still quite of research to be done, Fox assured his colleagues. Some people and companies are reluctant to use a cloud service for fear that they’ll be locked into a service provider and won’t be able to move their application and data to another provider. This could be solved with standardization across the industry, Fox said. Additionally, people are sometimes hesitant to trust all their data with a single organization. Research needs to be done, he said, to determine the proper approach to privacy.

The report is summarized in a blog post from the Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Laboratory at Berkeley.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot
Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.

If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.

stock art of market data
stock art of market data

Maximize business value with data-driven strategies

Every organization is now collecting data, but few are truly data driven. Here are five ways data can transform your business.

Cryptocurrency fuels new business opportunities

As adoption of digital assets accelerates, companies are investing in innovative products and services.

Mifiprex pill
Mifiprex pill

Where to get abortion pills and how to use them

New US restrictions could turn abortion into do-it-yourself medicine, but there might be legal risks.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.