7 Hot Cloud Computing Innovations

Cloud computing trends include the rise of the smartphone and tablet, sky computing, online gaming, cloud gateways and more.


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Posted September 30, 2010

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

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Despite a dismal economy, analysts continue to be bullish on cloud computing. A few recent studies project continued momentum for cloud computing, which according to IDC, should soon “reach 12% of the size of traditional IT product spending, [while representing] over 25% of the net-new growth in traditional IT products.” IDC predicts that worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services, which exceeded $16 billion in 2009, will grow to nearly $56 billion in 2014.

According to AMI-Partners’ World Wide Cloud Services Study, adoption among SMBs will be even more impressive. SMBs worldwide will spend more than $95 billion on cloud-related products and services (both public and private) by 2014. SMBs are already rapidly moving to the cloud, with CRM, payroll, accounting/financials and web-conferencing applications leading the way.

While there is no doubt that cloud computing will continue to grow, can we safely say that it is a mature technology?

One sign of maturity for newly adopted technologies is an outgrowth of innovation. By this I don’t mean that technologies require constant innovation in order to be considered mature; rather, once a technology has passed a certain tipping point, innovators begin tinkering at the margins.

New problems emerge as adoption spikes, and, obviously, new solutions are needed to address them. Meanwhile, radically unexpected use cases spring up to take advantage of the technology -- in ways never envisioned in the early adopter phase.

Here are seven of those innovations:

1. Displacing the laptop with smartphones and tablets.

Desktops and notebooks have already lost their standing as the go-to computing devices for many knowledge workers. Smartphone adoption outpaces even the cloud, while the iPad is already gaining traction in such verticals as hospitality and education.

“People hate carrying their laptops around with them. If you can access your desktop from the cloud via a phone or tablet, that’s a lot less hassle for people who are always on the go. Plus, there are no security limitations in the device being stolen or misplaced, because none of the information from the PC is saved locally on the phone,” said Daniel Barreto, GM, Mobile Cloud Business Unit at Wyse Technology, a provider of “cloud client computing” solutions.

Wyse intends to banish laptops from the mobile workforce through its PocketCloud service. PocketCloud is a remote desktop service that essentially delivers everything from your PC to your smartphone or tablet. By storing everything in the cloud, the constrained device gets a major boost (although input and bandwidth limitation still pose problems). Customers for PocketCloud include EMC and CA.

2. Mobilizing surveillance.

Iveda Solutions is leveraging the cloud to provide streaming mobile video surveillance at a price point well below the typical closed-circuit systems.

“Using cloud computing is a better way to consolidate your surveillance video, especially if it is coming from disparate geographic locations or facilities. Instead of running multiple DVRs and NVRs, the video is centrally hosted at our Tier-4 data center and the user accesses it using a Web browser,” said Jason Benedict, Marketing Manager, Iveda Solutions. Video can then be accessed by any Internet-enabled device, including smartphones and in-vehicle thin clients.

Iveda Solutions has deployed its system on school busses for campus safety, in parks in Arizona to combat graffiti and illegal dumping, and at golf courses to combat vandalism.

3. Moving gaming – all video gaming – online.

Whether you play video games on a PC, on Facebook or on consoles, today’s gaming experience is a thoroughly online one. Heck, I use my Wii more often to stream Netflix movies than to play games.

According to the NPD Group, the sales of games that are digitally downloaded topped traditional physical sales for the first time this past year. Consumers in the U.S. downloaded 11.2 million games from January through June 2010, versus 8.2 million physical units sold.

The numbers for Pando Networks are even more impressive. Pando leveraged its “content delivery cloud” to deliver more than 30 million game downloads (worldwide) between May 2009 and May 2010.

By combining cloud computing, http delivery and client-side technology, Pando provides a highly scalable game delivery platform with network capacity that expands as demand increases. This is especially important for online game distribution, since new releases of popular games frequently result in a sudden surge in download demand that can degrade CDN performance and the end-user experience.

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Tags: cloud computing, iPad, smartphone, Cloud Storage, tablet

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