Cloud Computing Basics
Google’s newest service it is offering is access to its “cloud.” Cloud is short for cloud computing, or distributed computing. Basically, how the cloud works, is by making lots of everyday home computers act like one giant supercomputer through the use of software, also called virtualization. This software, named MapReduce, is one of the main reasons why Google is so far ahead of its competitors. Instead of having to buy and maintain an expensive server that can support millions of users, cloud computing allows for lots of low cost machines to accomplish the same task. Whenever a machine breaks, it can be replaced without disturbing the cloud.
Cloud as a Service
Now that Google is offering its cloud as a service, everyone will be able to tap into the same machines that power such products as Gmail, Google Search, and Google Docs. There are both positives and negatives associated with this. Firstly, we will be giving Google even more information about ourselves and our websites. Like they need any more competitive data. Second, there will be limits on the amount of processing power each developer can use. To being, Google will offer 500mb and up to 5 million pageviews as part of its web app engine. Another negative is that there will most likely be little customization possibility.
On the positive side, developers will have the peace of mind to know their apps and websites are running on the most stable servers in the world. There will be virtually zero down time, and speed will be off the charts.
What Does This Mean?
Google is far from the first company to have this type of offering. Amazon already has a very similar and successful cloud service called EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). From a business aspect however, this is still a very smart move by CEO Eric Schmidt. Google already has the “biggest” cloud on earth, and a transition from the desktop windows system to a fully online computer network is imminent. The money will be in which computer network all the information sits on. If I am Google, and I am hosting all of your information and applications, I can charge you to use it. Although Google says its purpose is to index, sort, and make easy to find all the information in the world, they want to be the gatekeepers and charge for access. Whether the charge is direct, or through the viewing of ads, Google still profits.