Friday, March 11, 2011

Advantages of Cloud Computing– Part XI – Increased Storage

The experts have it backwards. The Cloud is not about ‘increased storage’. It’s about ‘less storage’ and I’ll tell you why.
One thing about history… it keeps growing. I have some customers who have computerized records dating prior to 1996. If you’re system is running on Windows-based PCs, you’ve probably lost all that data by now, either that, or the attic in your building is straining to crash down on your employees and bury them alive in ancient receipts and printouts.
As we make the switch from Windows-based PCs to leased mainframe technology, storage becomes insignificant, because in The Cloud, ‘virtualization’ redistributes the data according to the platform, which brings up another question, “Where is the data?” to which we answer, “Who Cares?”
That’s right! In The Cloud the distribution of the data is irrelevant to us humans, which leads us into another important topic, ‘redundancy.’ If the UPC for a 20 oz. Cherry Coca Cola is ‘049000047547’, then why is it necessary to have 100,000 convenience store computers sharing 100,000 copies of the same UPC for a single product? There’s 1.2 million bytes of data right there that can easily be reduced to just twelve bytes. Multiply that figure by one million UPC codes and you begin to grasp the enormity of the problem.  What about names, addresses, cities and states? Data redundancy leads to data anomalies and corruption. Twenty years from now, ‘data redundancy’ will probably be a forgotten term, not so much because the lack of it saves storage, but because the presence of it acts like a virus, and you all know how we feel about viruses.
Indiscriminate use of disk storage causes computers to slow down and spit out errors. In a cloud computing environment, the elimination of redundancy in data (not subject to proprietary information) will result in incalculable savings to companies who make use of the same information. Now really, do you care whether you and your competitor share the UPC for a 20 oz. Cherry Coca Cola? You should, if you’re the only one who is locked out of the sharing.
Here’s just one example where ‘increased storage’ for you results in ‘decreased storage’ for everyone.  The key to Cloud Computing’ is non-competitive cooperation. “Well,” some of you might say, “I’m not comfortable with my data being shared by our competitors.” To this I say, “Are you comfortable with companies like Walmart sharing their data with suppliers who are involved in a crusade to cut Walmart’s costs below what these same suppliers are selling to you?”

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