Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Does Cloud Computing and Social Media applications clash?

Something struck me today on the topic of cloud computing. Everyone, at least in the tech world, has been saying that cloud computing is the next big thing. However, so is social media and social networking. The upcoming trend for businesses is to use social media and social networking to conduct their business operations.

Cloud computing was recommended as the infrastructure can be easily scaled up or down when required. Costs aside, I believe one important point was forgotten: Video. The social media generation puts a lot of emphasis on visuals and increasingly businesses are using visuals and videos to conduct their business operations.

To the end users, it's just streaming video but for the content providers, you'll need to upload this content into your servers. How will you be able to do this if you are hosting it at a cloud computing environment? If you have structured your in-house architecture such that your users upload the content through the Intranet, and only certain areas of your network is exposed to the Internet, your users will be able to upload content quickly and more efficiently than to upload it through your office's broadband and present it to their end-users.

If you're subscribing to cloud computing, not only will you have to wait for your videos to be uploaded using your office bandwidth, you will also choke up the bandwidth allocation and cause the broadband speed to slow down for the whole office.

This is one problem that I've yet to think of a solution, other than a dedicated leased line from the office to the cloud computing vendor which will drive up costs dramatically. That is provided the vendor actually allows you to have the leased line connected to their architecture setup.

Killer app for cloud computing? None that I can think of yet because to the end-users, they don't really see any benefits. I guess that's the main problem, coupled with the fact that it's pricing scheme is not as transparent as the telcos.

Cloud computing still has some ways to go.

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