The tutor shares some insight into cloud computing.
Here at Oracle Tutoring, Campbell River, BC, our IT department has a staff of one and manages 5 pcs, the newest of which is from last summer (it was a discontinued model then:). I have an XP computer, two Windows 7 ones, and two Linux (Ubuntu). One Windows 7 and the two Linux are laptops. The two Linux and the XP one might be ten years old.
Although it’s very attractive, in a way, to have so many computers to choose from, it’s likely not the way of the future. One immediate reason is that each computer needs its own operating system and software. Moreover, the five computers do take up a lot of space in a crowded house (even the laptops have to be put somewhere).
If Oracle Tutoring was in the cloud, we might have workstations in the house rather than pcs. Right now, our kids aren’t allowed to be on the computer without adult presence, so they almost never go on at the same time. Therefore, we’d likely have two workstations – three at most. They’d probably be portable, and could even be taken off site.
In the late 80s and early 90s I had jobs where I sat at a terminal. It wasn’t a standalone computer; I guess it networked to a mainframe. The mainframe took in all the data from the terminals and “knew all”. It alone housed the software which the workers used.
Nowadays, you don’t hear the term “mainframe”; I’d say you hear “server” instead. With cloud computing, the server is your gateway to the cloud. It offers the software you need, probably in desktop format on your terminal. The software resides in the cloud. So does your work, if you store it there. Your terminal just provides access. No doubt, your terminal has USB slots where memory sticks can be plugged in to receive downloaded files from your space in the cloud. Alternatively, you can send files directly from your cloud space to another one via FTP or email.
Children of the late 70s and early 80s, who first saw desktop computers, remember how expensive and rare they were. Like a car, you had to possess the computer to benefit from it. To the cloud computing user, the principle of owning the hardware is obsolete; instead, the emphasis is on the information. The cloud is where you can generate, share, and store what you create.
You can still be on the cloud from a typical pc, of course. However, the onboard resources of the pc are probably redundant with cloud computing. Therefore, as people embrace cloud computing, they will just as likely use more minimal terminals rather than fully-featured pcs.
Is Oracle Tutoring going on the cloud? Not tomorrow. However, some people think that within ten years, most companies will be. In a future post I’ll discuss why.
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.