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Rant about the cloud

Nov - 2 - 2010
Nicole C. Engard

Cloud computing is the new big things and in many cases I live my life in the cloud. I work in a virtual office and share files with my colleagues using various cloud servers. Our customers’ systems are in the cloud (a benefit of using Koha) and this works well for both them and us. But when it comes to my personal computer there are some things that just don’t belong in the cloud – or at least shouldn’t be cloud only.

A few months ago I ranted about StarCraft II and the fact that I couldn’t play offline. Many said it was possible, but no matter what I did, I had to be online to play the game. This meant that when I was in airports and airplanes I couldn’t play the game. Now, my husband tells me that a tool he likes to use is going to be moved to the cloud. This too is a big problem when traveling in particular, but in other instances too.

Right now we’re in a hotel that makes us pay for wifi. We’re not going to pay for both of us to be online at the same time so we’re swapping the wifi connection back and forth. Yesterday I was able to work on answering emails and chatting with friends while he used his tools offline. That won’t be possible soon if things are changed with this application.

My point here is that while the cloud is all fancy and new and very very useful most of the time, there are some things that we need to think carefully about before moving all of our applications to the cloud – the first being that high speed Internet is not available to everyone – and if it is available to everyone, not everyone can afford it – so in order to stay accessible we need to think twice before moving everything out into the ether.

Rant done.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Daniel Cooper Clark says:

    Excellent point, and well put – a practical aspect I haven’t seen discussed yet, amidst all the trumpet-blaring about The Cloud.

  2. Amanda says:

    This blog post is timely! I’m writing my Emerging Technologies final paper on cloud computing and needed some professional commentary about the downsides of cloud computing.

  3. Well said! As an aside, I hope you enjoyed your time in my home town (Wellington).

  4. [...] Nicole Engard has a short post about the possible downsides of cloud computing. [...]

  5. Nicole says:

    Simon, Wellington was awesome! I loved it there!

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