We've used the cloud on occasion for many tasks. In fact, i'm gearing up for another big cloud deployment as i type. That said, none of it is video or editing related. It has lots of good uses, but cloud storage for large data to be manipulated locally isn't one of them. That's just ridiculous.
Point of note: when we did our first cloud installation we had a 238GB data set to upload. The cloud host suggested that the fastest way was for us to *mail* them a hard drive with the copy of the data! Projections were that the upload would take about 6 days. We overnighted a hard drive and by lunch time the next day all the data was loaded into our instances ready to be used.
We once calculated that the highest possible bandwidth for data movement was to stuff a 747 jetliner full of 32GB (well, now 64GB) microSD cards. Nothing else on the planet, either cable, fiber, or satellite could come anywhere close to moving that much data that quickly. The only drawback was the latency.
I find it hard to do anything more than trivial on a tablet. I use my laptop when I have to. I demand a desktop for anything that requires not to be distracted by device limitations. This includes 'office' and everyday use.
So, if I was editing internal communications for Microsoft, I wonder how they'd feel about some other competitor hosting the media in their cloud? Worst case scenario is that all my clients would insist that media be hosted in their encrypted cloud and that I should have a dedicated machine for just their cloud.
Cloud storage is only incidental to the purpose of the cloud, it's not what the cloud is about, and is certainly never the primary selling point.
The cloud is a set of remote, amorphous computer resources, of which you "rent" a piece to be used for whatever you would use a local PC for. Our cloud installation does have storage, yes, but it also has web servers, mail servers, database servers, communication servers, name servers, data translation and processing servers, etc. All of these functions need storage to hold the data they work on. The real benefit is being able to turn on more instances of these functions and increase processing capacity in a flash as we need them for peak periods, then deactivate them when the demand goes down. That way we not only pay for just the services we need, but also only *when* we need them.
Using the cloud *JUST* to store data? About the only use i can see for that is ease of access from anywhere else in the world, and i can already do that just fine without using the cloud. I would also never see the cloud as a sole storage device. Too much risk placed in something outside my control. Just like with keeping backups in separate areas, the cloud is merely one of these storage options. Should that particular cloud provider go away, we have other copies elsewhere.
Besides, of all the features available in the cloud, storage is generally the most expensive feature and often the majority of the cloud hosting bill. In fact, for a lot of our deployments, we store as little data in the cloud as possible, moving all older archived information back to our own local storage servers so that we don't waste cloud hosting money on stale data.
> "This sounds very much like what used to be called the "time-sharing" model of computing, where "table device" = 'dumb terminal" and "cloud" = 'Main frame". ;-)"
Everything old is new again! ;-)
The web was the first reincarnation of this where "web browser" = "dumb terminal" and "web server" = "main frame". HTML protocol isn't that different from a 3270 data stream where some processing was done on the dumb terminal (which wasn't as dumb as it looked) but the heavy work was done at the server.
> "Even on the fastest connections available today upload of video for a typical project is still way too slow."
Here is how the guy at Sony Broadcast explained it to me. You shoot your video in the field and upload to the cloud. During the upload, light-weight proxies are created. You edit with the proxies which are downloaded quickly to make your edits. When you are ready to render, the actual render is done in the cloud with the full HD media using CPU's and GPU's that scale dynamically as needed. The cloud isn't just about storage; it's about infinitely scalable resources in a pay-as-you-go scheme.
This is obviously not a "hobby" setup. This is a future workflow for a professional broadcast pipeline.
> "Until the internet becomes as reliable and secure as my desktop I won't be using Cloud services... notwithstanding the already exorbitant cost of such!."
And you shouldn't until that is true but that's what the mainframe guys said about PC's. No way would they store their valuable data on those "toy" personal computers. ;-) They wanted their data locked away in their secure data centers. It's funny how things change... and then change again.
> "Tablets are neat... until someone steals yours and all your work!"
Actually, my data is safe in the cloud. When I bought my new iPad 4 last month, I simply entered my Apple ID and it was totally restored from iCloud from my iPad 2 backup over WiFi within an hour or two. Had I lost it, it would have been just as easy to replace. If someone had stolen it, I could have used "Find-My-iPad" to locate it and wipe it clean. So there are advantages to the cloud.
I know that a lot of people aren't ready for the cloud yet. That's OK. That's why it's a "future" statement. There are still a lot of things to be figured out like reliability, security, bandwidth, etc., as others have pointed out... but it is the future of computing... (until the "next" thing comes along)
In the interest of full disclosure: I teach a Migration to Cloud Computing graduate course at Columbia University in NYC so I follow the trends a little closer than most. ;-) My research is in migrating data centers to the cloud so, yea, I'm a cloud guy and we're working on making it better.
Wow, what a fantastic teaching position, teaching a grad course at Columbia in technology! Very envious over here in Oregon (well, in Phoenix actually, until Wednesday).
I guess though I still don't get it. My computers are backed up with Acronis, my smartphone is backed up to a file on my SD card, and that image is also on my PC. So something goes blooey, I'm back in business in a few minutes. What does the cloud benefit me?
I can see the benefit of uploading all my family photos to a central repository. So DropBox is kinda like a cloud, yes? But then I can just as easily log onto my home machine via LogMeIn and get stuff quickly that way.
Anyway, if you ever need a Teaching Assistant... I miss that environment.
> "Wow, what a fantastic teaching position, teaching a grad course at Columbia in technology! Very envious over here in Oregon (well, in Phoenix actually, until Wednesday)."
I'm just an Adjunct Professor but it is a lot of fun and I still smile every time a student says, "Professor Rofrano"... (when I was a kid and I would show off in front of my Dad he would always say, "who are you? the professor?") ;-)
> "I guess though I still don't get it. My computers are backed up with Acronis, my smartphone is backed up to a file on my SD card, and that image is also on my PC. So something goes blooey, I'm back in business in a few minutes. What does the cloud benefit me?"
It has the advantage of being off-site and out-of-mind. If you were one of unfortunate victims of hurricane Sandy here in NY you would have lost your Acronis backup too. (btw, I back up my PC to Acronis every day). The problem is that most people don't. My iPad is backed up to iCloud every time it is charging. My iPhone is not. I back it up to my MacBook Pro. I probably haven't backed up my iPhone in a few weeks (I really should switch it to the iCloud). So it does for us what we don't think of doing for ourselves.
> "I can see the benefit of uploading all my family photos to a central repository. So DropBox is kinda like a cloud, yes? But then I can just as easily log onto my home machine via LogMeIn and get stuff quickly that way."
Yes, Dropbox is very much a storage cloud. I have a Buffalo Linkstation that also allows me remote access to my "private cloud" at home when I'm on the road so that's very much like LogMeIn. These are all variations on the theme of cloud.
Oh, BTW, a lot of corporate customers have said the same thing about not wanting their data in the same cloud with other customers / competitors data so the notion of Private Cloud is very alive and well and really isn't that different than hosting your own data center except that some one else manages it for you.
> "Anyway, if you ever need a Teaching Assistant... I miss that environment."
We have guest lecturers come in from time to time. I had my customer come in once and talk about their challenges with deploying to the cloud so the students could hear first hand the reality of how hard it is sometimes. It's not as easy as the glossy brochure depicts.
I can see the advantages of going to a cloud based type system but I don't trust them either. If I have all of my apps and data on a cloud server somewhere I have to trust those will always be available. That is not always the case. This has come up already with MP3's or movies purchased for cloud based viewing that are later shuttered leaving no access to the purchased merchandise.
What happens if the service company goes out of business? Where do my apps and data end up then? If the company is bought out what is to keep the new company from holding my apps and data hostage while wanting (say) 10x what I was previously paying. And, to use Johnny Roys' example of Sandy, what if the data center is hit with a natural disaster? Granted it may all be the same (my office burns down or hit by a quake) but I know I can take steps to backup data to a location I know is secure. I just don't trust any cloud yet.
Plus there is always the possibility that the cloud company could be hacked (many customers, lots of data, BIG target) or have some internal person scraping data and selling it to a competitor. Not really an issue for me yet but it may easily be an issue for some.
To come back to the topic, with the majority of people using android based smartphones and tablets and all the processing will be done in the cloud, what is the advantage to using win8 in a cloud based ecosystem? At that point it is only a front end anyway. Might as well stick with the market leader (android)...
Yeah, just like my Megaupload account... in the cloud, had many files on it, thought it was safe (didn't realize it had anything to do with pirated software). Then the stinkin' feds swoop in, shut it down, steal my files, never gave me a chance to get them back, no explanation, no nothing, have no idea where they are, who has access, some of them private to my business, just gone.
I know I may get the "Ohh whatever" but if you read Slashdot or other Internet news, you will hear that Hackers (or Crackers, not sure the correct Terminology ) have used Amazon's Cloud service to hack to other sites.
To me that clearly shows that the "Cloud" is still a work-in-progress and I am not interested in it. I have purchased physical CD's from Amazon and they claim they put it in their "cloud" but I have not used it nor will I. I have the physical CD and I can convert my CD to other formats depending on what I need.
The Cloud may be useful for others, but since I can hookup an external HD in an external Case and use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 I can make my own backups at will.
"used Amazon's Cloud service to hack to other sites"
Sorry, but this isn't newsworthy in the slightest. Amazon's cloud service offers virtual computer hosts, and as such, they can be used for anything any other computer can be used for: storing files, processing data, serving web pages, forwarding email, hacking/cracking, etc. It doesn't show any failing or lack of security on the part of Amazon; it merely shows that Amazon's cloud offerings included all the computing features you'd expect of a cloud host.
It is exactly the same as saying that hackers used the computer in their parents' living room to crack other systems. Precisely exactly the same. And they've been doing that for 40 years.
Most cloud hosts cannot "snoop" through users' data. In most instances the user's data storage is encrypted. The only non-user access would be through whatever public interface the user has set up, if any.
When the "Cloud" is advertised as a place to store your Photo's, Programs and personal files where is this located? There is no single area that stores this data since it is kept on multiple servers/systems correct?
Since the US Government now has something called the "Kill Switch" for the Internet what makes any user think their data is kept safe and accessible when our own Government can now stop Internet access.
Definition from Wikipedia: An Internet kill switch is the cybercrime and countermeasures concept of activating a single shut off mechanism for all Internet traffic. The theory behind a kill switch is creation of a single point of control for one authority or another to control in order to "shut down the internet to protect it" from unspecified assailants.
I'm sorry, but not having control over the data once it goes into the "cloud" is something that businesses and users should be aware of. Encryption, of course but since the Data is in the cloud does that not give someone the ability to try to "force brute" files(s) until they get in?
I guess no matter what the hype says, there should always be someone asking questions about security and how safe the Cloud really is. For me, I'm not using it and I am fine with it.
As one of the architects of the internet, i can tell you that the "kill switch" is pure smoke and mirrors. I can only imagine what the government officials who came up with the idea must have been thinking.
The internet is a HUGE (read vastly enormously humongously gigantic) complex collection of millions of independent networks connected by thousands of global providers and exchanges. Each and every one of those pieces runs separately and is largely unaffected by the state of the other pieces. The internet was designed to survive having major cities eliminated by nuclear bombs and still function by routing around damaged areas.
The only people who can physically shut down each of these pieces are the owners of them, or those who provide power/service to the owners. The best the government could possible do is send out an order to all those millions of owners and thousands of upstream providers *asking* them to shut down.
The idea that a single point of control could possibly exist is simply ludicrous.
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but if you think my new designs for a new mobile OS is safe on gcloud, icloud or skydrive, I have some beach front property to sell you in AZ. Bwwwwaaaaahhhhhhhaaaaaaaahhahahahahahahhahaha
Would anyone really believe that their IP is safe on these folks servers?