Cloud computing land: IBM and Amazon

IBM announced today their version of cloud computing, Blue Cloud. This comes shortly after Amazon’s announcement of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

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“As more Web 2.0-style applications, which include lots of content contributed by end users, come online, companies will need to have better tools to handle them”, said Dennis Quan, chief technology officer of high performance on demand solutions at IBM.

“What’s at the heart of this is the realization that this technology is not restricted to universities or academic institutions. There’s a broad applicability for this technology,” Quan said.

Cloud computer primer
Cloud computing is essentially the harnessing of computer power to scale to a massive size, which allows for the following:

  • replicating the size of the internet or a part thereof
  • testing application viability (esp Web 2.0 apps) by simulating user adoption across the internet
  • crunching numbers on a massive, scientific scale. Think the Genome Project, SETi@Home, scanning pictures of Space or the desert. Apparently, in the 50s-80s academics used to book time on a computer to perform data analysis (like calculating pi) and they can now buy time on Blue Cloud or EC2/S3.

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