Living in the Cloud

mynameisjamie

Member
Oct 10, 2008
182
9
18
Chicago, IL
Hey everyone,
I'm really in a future thinking head space today.

Anyway, one of my last posts made me think of the impending cloud. Is it one of doom? Or is is an happy shaped elephant cloud?

The cloud, for the uninitiated, is the term used for where more and more of our information is being stored. For example, one might say their e-mail is in the cloud. Anywhere I go, if there is internet access, I have access to my e-mail. Which is why a lot of people e-mail themselves things. If you e-mail it to yourself, you will have it as long as you have that e-mail account.

THE cloud is kind of that place the things we use on computers and can access from any computer that has access to the internet go.

Cloud computing takes it all to the next level. An example of this might be Google Documents. A full feature office suite wherever you go. Not only that, you can share documents with people and collaborate on the same document at the same time.

Google Documents is really just the tip of the iceberg. Right now I am keeping some of my music in my Dropbox. Installing dropbox is easy and after it's installed it becomes just another folder on your computer. Whenever you want to put something in the dropbox, you copy or drag a file there and it's there. Any computer you have dropbox on, you have really easy access to those files.

This is already a really long post, so I won't get into Xoopit because I could talk for days about how sweet that is....

But how long before everything we do will be in the cloud? I think it's crazy to think this concept won't become a large part of everyones lives. What part of your life is lived "in the cloud?" Do you think the impending cloud brings doom or world peace? Discuss.
 

leth

Member
Jan 4, 2009
67
4
8
Southern Ontario
For me, I won't use anything like Google Documents. I guess you could say I just don't trust them. I won't even use GMail, Hotmail, etc. I like to be the only one responsible for storing my data, and a lot of people probably feel this way. All my e-mails and files get backed up onto an external HD, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

At work, we have remote access to all our stuff; I can work anywhere with my laptop, including phone calls with VoIP (software phone and a headset on the laptop.) I guess this could be called "the cloud", but it's "my" cloud (or the companies cloud .. but I'm the IT guy so it's "mine" :)) However all of our data is stored in-house, with off-site backups in a safety deposit box. The only outsourced system we have is payroll, and even that took some convincing for me to do take it out of house. But as long as I'm held responsible for our "core" data (accounting, file storage, etc) I'll never let go off-site; simply for security reasons.
 

hexagram

Medicinal & Recreational.
Oct 11, 2008
2,760
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Seattle, WA
That's what Microsoft is planning to do with Codename Midori. Cloud computing.

If they can pull it off the right way, it would spell bad news for Apple.
 

mrpacs

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
2,993
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Connecticut
I use and live by Sugarsync for offsite archive and keeping all my computers files/folders in sync. Sugarsync iphone app as well.
 

mynameisjamie

Member
Oct 10, 2008
182
9
18
Chicago, IL
I use and live by Sugarsync for offsite archive and keeping all my computers files/folders in sync. Sugarsync iphone app as well.

Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I've never heard of sugarsync and the iphone app is sweet. I might look into that compared to Dropbox. For $9.99 a month you get 60gb on Sugarsync and 50gb on Dropbox.
 
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blyons200

These pretzels are making me thirsty.
Oct 12, 2008
8,449
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The BBQ Capital
It's a cloud of doom. With the slow ass speed of the "high speed" internet in hotels, data caps on home internet service, and the unreliability of the internet in general, I see lots of frustration on the horizon. I like to keep everything local.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
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Louisiana
When I read this all I could think of was Apple when they rolled out the new 2.0 software on the iPhone and added the Mobile Me, which they call The Cloud. I've never had much luck using their cloud and found it rather limited since you can't use domain email with it.

Anyway we have our own intranet server running that we use for a document server and it also keeps copies of all the software we use and no matter what clinic location I am visiting I always have access to those documents, files and software. We also have setup backups that run at night that does a back up of all our computers that store data. So in a way we've created our own cloud.

Email wise we have a non profit partnership with Google to provide that service and of course with that comes Google Aps. I have found this very useful, I love the fact that using the gmail interface we can chat between clinics and even offices. We can even do group chats. It makes our work environment so much easier. The chats by the way are peer to peer so it is a closed environment.
 

TheScionicMan

Last non-Hating Stern Fan
Oct 11, 2008
2,171
93
48
It's funny to me cuz I used an website called Gdrive for online storage years ago. There were several competing websites that would give you a ton of online storage (a ton at the time). There was about a 3 week period when they all went under. My online data was transferred twice and then I had 2 weeks to retrieve stuff before the last one went under.

I use GMail, and google docs and love the portability. We had email issues due to the Network Solutions problems last week. I was able to send the docs via GMail.

As an IT professional, I've gone from carrying a CD case of tools, apps and updates to just needing internet access.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
6,079
245
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New York
I'm a pretty big fan of Google Docs, but I've noticed some flaky behavior at time. But you can't beat the price. I'd hesitate to put any business related stuff out there.

We do email archiving in "the cloud" while maintaining our own local production and backup servers. Works pretty well. We also ship images of our servers to offsite data centers so that we can restore to bare iron in the event of a major catastrophe (which would suck).

Perhaps the best outcome would be a sort of hybrid approach where you have locally cahched versions of what is in the cloud. This way, you are not dependent on network connectivity. Maybe you could locally cache/sync the stuff you need all of the time, while other stuff (like archives, photos, etc.) that you don't need all of the time is not cached, thus cutting down the bandwidth demands.

Lot's of exciting stuff coming down the line.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
63
Louisiana
I'm a pretty big fan of Google Docs, but I've noticed some flaky behavior at time. But you can't beat the price. I'd hesitate to put any business related stuff out there.

Lot's of exciting stuff coming down the line.

Yeah, we've mainly played around with the google doc stuff, but when actually working on confidential docs, we use our own document server which has high security so that we know it is fully protected. We even use our own private SSL keys on our Google mail setup, which gives us another layer of security beyond their normal SSL key.

I think we used Google docs when we were in the planning stages of DRC.

I agree though so much new stuff coming down the pipe. Technology isn't standing still that is for sure!
 

hexagram

Medicinal & Recreational.
Oct 11, 2008
2,760
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48
Seattle, WA
I think if you have the security and can keep certain files strictly local, then it sounds like it would be a good idea if implemented into the OS.

You could take your files and your desktop, applications, taskbar with you wherever you go (it would be almost as if you ripped the tower out of your wall and took it with you).