Jan Brass Takes a Hard Look at the Cloud

Top Stories: Mobile Data, Cloud Gaming, BYOD, The ‘Nameless’ Cloud

Mobile Data Roaming Charges – Outrageous

cloud data roamingNot all of the Internet is built equally. Much of the US is covered in broadband and Internet speeds have been slowly increasing, though not nearly as much as they have elsewhere in the world. Despite this, mobile roaming data charges have remained at extortionist levels. For years now, individuals traveling outside the coverage of their carriers have been hit with huge bills, sometimes running into tens of thousands of dollars. Even basic low bandwidth requirement applications such as SMS can rack up hundreds of dollars.

A few governments in the European Union have turned their attention to this practice and are instituting standards for mobile roaming data access. There doesn’t seem to be a similar crackdown in the US and so the onus is on customers to ensure that they turn off data services when they move to another country. If you’re lucky enough to have your own phone, simply swap out the Sim card for a local one and use Wi-Fi as much as possible. A few steps like this will go a long way towards preventing cardiac arrest when you encounter bill shock.

Bringing the Cloud to Gaming Consoles

cloud gamingThe PC World has had online cloud gaming for a while. Hit MMO RPG games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars deliver the entire gameplay experience online. True, the local clients still need to download the software and install it and they need to have the minimum system requirements to handle graphics, but the actual game logic lives on remote servers. This is a kind of “hybrid” cloud gaming system. Consoles don’t have the same mobility. If you wanted to play a game when you move to another area, you needed to pack up your Xbox or PlayStation as well as the actual games themselves.

It is projected that 2013 will see the true advent of cloud gaming. Even consoles will be able to stream your game onto your device regardless of where you are. An ideal scenario would be the ability to play the game in your web browser with all content delivered to you in real time. It’s a very exciting industry and we need several technological breakthroughs in order to make it a reality.

Bring Your Own Device or BYOD for Enterprises

byod cloud vpnWith the holidays just concluded, a large number of people have purchased new handsets or smartphones or received them as gifts. These individuals will not be content to carry around a separate phone provided by their company for business related activities. Enterprises need to be prepared for this influx of new devices and learn techniques and standardized procedures for ensuring foolproof security.

Instead of fighting this trend, companies need to set up help desks dedicated to servicing employees who have their own devices and need help setting up secure mail for example. Further help in connecting to the Virtual Private Network or VPN will keep confidential data from streaming out onto the open Internet and into the hands of hackers.

Cloud Computing As a Nameless Utility

Businesses are interested in only one thing – making sure that the technology works with as little hassle as possible providing great value. For cloud computing to reach this stage, it has to melt into the background without making a big name for itself. As one CIO put it, “If I know the name of the technology provider, that’s bad”. It may be strange, but perhaps cloud computing companies should be aiming to do their work silently in the background without drawing a lot of attention to themselves.

As of today, the industry is still rapidly evolving with each provider trying to outdo the other in terms of features and price. Until the situation settles down and cloud services are able to work seamlessly in the background without much hassle, enterprises will always be somewhat shy of adopting this new technology. It has to be rock solid, and perhaps even boring.

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