Where is cloud computing in Ireland?

The offerings are global – and available (Amazon, Google, Salesforce, etc.).  There are attractions particularly in terms of avoiding major capital expenditure, scaling the infrastructure investment as demand for the business application grows. The 'private cloud' is now also an option.  There are concerns – how do I pick the right vendor, will it prove expensive in the long run?  However it seems to me that for a country like Ireland and for entrepreneurs here trying to build out businesses to kickstart our serious challenged economy, cloud computing offers a great way to push forward, with limited capital outlay but all the scalability to build web/ global business.

Dion Hinchcliffe's well thought out piece provides a more comprehensive list of some of the pros & cons.  Time to move forward.

What's in azure right now?

Attended great presentation by David Chappell at Microsoft in Dublin this morning.  Fascinating comparison of the offerings from SalesForce, Microsoft, Google and Amazon.  Interesting explanation of Microsoft's focus on providing a platform in this version of Azure to enable us to build the next 'Facebook'. 

Explained why cannot migrate classic enterprise applications to this Azure platform.  The Azure platform uses hierarchical database structures (scalable) – not relational database as would be required to support MSQ SQL Server based applications.

Interesting discussion about the difficulties of naming new Microsoft products/ solutions.

Storage and the cloud

In his article Scott provides very positive feedback on the data storage options with www.azure.com.  While Scott is careful to provide balance in picking out a number of specific strengths of the other reviewed solutions – Amazon and Google – he certainly makes a strong case of azure.  Would depend on what's more important in your own implementation.

Web 2.0 Expo SF, 2008

Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media) gave a good key note at the web 2.0 Expo in SF, last month (see presentation).  He has some tendency towards hyperbole e.g. in speaking of Web 2.0 using such phrases as: ‘a turning point akin to literacy, cities…’.  However he has a number of well made and supported points.

The internet becoming ‘the computer’, the ‘global platform’, the trend toward the PC being just another device accessing the internet – is a valid observation.  His phrase ‘harnessing collective intelligence’ has a powerful ring to it.

O’Reilly’s talk focuses on three ideas:

  1. Web 2.0 in the enterprise (enterprises opening themselves to the world in new ways)
  2. Web 2.0 evolving into cloud computing – the web becomes a reality for business
  3. The web, as an artifact of the PC, is going away

O’Reilly’s examples of the use of customer data by companies such as Google and Wesabe to provide relevant applications and services to their customers puts the gaunlet down to other businesses e.g. banks.