The opening keynote was “Platforms in the Cloud: Where Will Your Next Application Run?” by David Chappell. He put a lot of the bits and piece of cloud computing into perspective: Private and public clouds, when a cloud makes sense and why people use clouds. Some use it because it’s a way to avoid their own IT which says a lot. He also put a couple of frameworks and products next to each other to make it more easy to see through all the fog.
Personally, I agree with him: Cloud computing is the next step. It solves one of the basic problems in computers today: You have too much computer power when you don’t need it and too little when you do.
Actually, I hope that CC won’t only make life easier for the business but also for developers. More on that in my next installment of TNBT – The Next Best Thing.
Some highlights from the talk:
Start-ups need to fail fast or scale fast. So clouds are perfect for them: Cheap, salable.
In the long run PaaS (Platform as a Service) will win over IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). There are already many companies which offer PaaS by tailoring an IaaS VM to do what you need.
When it comes to NoSQL, that means “not only SQL”. Most applications need a mix of SQL and non-SQL data sources. For example an MP3 cloud player will keep the song titles and other meta data in an SQL table (so you can easily sort and search) but the songs will be in a non-SQL storage.
Another use case for cloud computing is off-site backup. That puts your data at risk to being copied but which is more hazardous for your company: That a competitor might be able to break the encryption or that the data is lost forever? If you lose your business data, you’ll probably bankrupt faster.
I talked to him after the presentation and he made an odd comment about open source (“Oh, you’re one of those open source guys. Don’t you have children to feed?”) My guess is he makes the same mistake as many people: Free software is free as in freedom, not as in beer. You can change it but there is no reason to give it away for free. Some people do but that only means they have some other means to generate revenue.