News24

Future computing in the Cloud

2011-08-15 22:29

Cape Town - Cloud-based solutions are going to drive computer services as the internet becomes universal across multiple platforms, Google has said.

"This is where I think the benefit of cloud solutions are really going to have its major strength in that previously with desktops you'd have to install your own software, and you'd have to manage it.

"What cloud computing does is take that away and says 'We'll get the best security experts in the world working on protecting that cloud layer, taking away the security needs and hassles from the user,'" Google SA head of mobile Brett St Clair told News24.

"What we are going to see is search across all the devices - and then we'll have our display products,  which are monetisable products, and then all our different consumer facing products, but they'll work across every mechanism.

"That's what we're going to see - this kind of merge of always being on," he added.

Security

St Clair said that security would be of paramount importance because of cloud-based computer solutions and many companies have launched a range of always-on devices.

"As we move an always-on lifestyle, it's mimicking what our lifestyle is at the moment. We're always live and as we're live we face all these security risks, depending on what we're doing.

"In a kind of weird way, that's probably a good thing because that is driving innovation - it's forcing big organisations to make sure their data is secure, to make sure they're advancing their security."

He warned though, that corporate policies would need to be reviewed especially where workers moved between company networks and the web.

"When it comes to business, being within the VPN [virtual private network], or outside, exposing data not being controlled often is down to the user.

"Outside of the security layers, what do you do?"

Security companies have advised that web-based e-mail poses an intellectual property risk for corporations as data that is not within the control of network professionals may be subject to abuse.

Hassle

But Google hit back, saying that cloud-based solutions employed the best computer security experts and removed the hassle of updates from companies' core business.

"I totally understand those where Kaspersky [Antivirus] and Norton are coming from because this is their core business.

"When it's moving away from the client into the cloud how do they respond?

"I really believe Cloud computing saying 'Let's scale IT properly; let's provide this wired or wireless connection into an environment that can store, host; secure with the best in the world,'" St Clair said.


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Comments
  • v3 - 2011-08-15 23:18

    Funny opinion coming from Google. I have tried using Gmail, Google Contacts, Calender, etc and am not so sure. The company is starting to replace Microsoft as the Evil Empire of IT. One now runs the risk of having all one's accounts suspended if their net nanny disapproves of something you post (or a despotic government instructs them) - it happened to some Google+ users. Their business model has the fundamental flaw that everything can be automated (including their help). If their help doesn't help you, you have no recourse. Then there is the inexplicable dropping of their "Gears" product because HTML5 will (is supposed to) have the same functionality. In the meantime, users must do without. This incredible arrogance and failure to understand the user perspective could be a deal-breaking fatal flaw. They also summarily dropped their dictionary, because the Google people - their geeks, not their user base - thought using Google Search's lookup ("define:word") was a substitute; many users on websites disagreed.

  • John Giles - 2011-08-16 11:29

    I'm a big fan of the cloud and think that many of Google's services rock. Am I'm a lawyer, who often get too caught up in the risks.

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