Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | June 7, 2011

What is this thing called the Cloud?

The latest craze in computing is this idea called Cloud Computing; and of course our friends at Apple call it iCloud – if it is going to be ‘chic’ it will have an “i” before it; therefore I am no longer writing blogs I am iBlogging – I hope you read my iBlog today! 🙂

Kidding aside, this term “Cloud” is an important idea worth understanding – I will share a definition for it and share concerns and opportunities worth your thoughts.

What is this thing called Cloud Computing?

Definition: A Device Independent Data Storage and Software Usage Platform that is secure and offers connection to multiple devices.

This is a brilliant idea!

In other words, rather than buying software and storage that are focused on your computer or mobile device, you buy these services like electricity. It is the commoditization of computing. We are approaching a world where computing can be bought and sold as a utility!

Example: You no longer have to collect Vinyls of your music – they will be stored on a server on the internet and your devices will sync to them rather then be stored on them.

Example 2: Instead of buying a new Hard Drive for your computer to store your pictures and documents you rent storage on the Internet and you store them there! In the world of Business Data Storage think of Dropbox.com – you can have all of your documents on the Cloud and access them with different devices at will. So in essence, instead of your computer storing Data on your local Hard Drive, you are using someone else’s Hard Drive on the internet to store your Data.

The beauty of such a system is that it is on Demand – you grow your storage and computing  power as you need it!

PS: Enron had it right when it came to the commoditization of Internet Access – the problem was they were too early, and played hookie with their accounting books.

Here is the biggest pitfall to Cloud Computing – As a country we lag in the promise of High Speed Internet Access – the infrastructure needed to run the Nation’s Cloud Computing is weak, very weak – in fact I will prove to you.

Most of us get our Internet Access via the monopolies of Cable Providers or similar entities – but do you know that our internet speed is a joke?

1. Go to SpeedTest.net (http://www.speedtest.net/)

2. Don’t Click on the Start Scan Now at the top, or Start Now on the side – those are Ads.

3. Click on “Begin Test” in the middle.

4. Let the test run and you will notice that your Internet Connection has 2 speeds – a Download Speed and an Upload Speed. In my location, Wilmington North Carolina, I happen to pay for the highest available speed from Time Warner and here is what I get: 19Mbps Download, which is awesome; but the upload is 0.36Mbps – or 2% of the download speed.

Cloud Computing is about storing your Data in the Cloud and running your programs online – therefore you must have an adequate Upload Speed; remember you are taking your information from your local Hard Drive and placing it on the Internet so you can get to it later.

True Cloud Computing faces many challenges:

1. The initiatives designed by Google, Apple, and Amazon are not True Cloud Computing Services – they are Marketing ideas that will find a true future in a distant future. We have a tendency to market the future of possibility NOT actuality! Can we please call the current version of Cloud Computing – “The Marketing Cloud!” Ahhhh…

2. True Real Estate Marketers who use the internet to build their visibility understand that they need Video – try to create Video Computing using Cloud Computing. The problem is not with the tools, the problem is the speed to get to the tools. Upload Speeds are NOT close to being adequate – they are in fact dismal.

3. When will fiber optics be delivered to all homes and businesses that allow for independent upload and download at the same speed? This is unfortunately a national infrastructure problem! – Not an individual purchasing decision. A 20/0.3Mbps Internet Connection is a joke for Cloud Computing – FiOS, the fastest Fiber Optic Connection, with a speed of 150/35Mbps would be great but who will pay $200 a month to have it in their home. Yes it makes sense for Businesses but it is only available is limited markets; and its roll-out is decades away nationally.

4. Security of Online Data and Fear of Bleeding from server to server still challenges Cloud Computing. This is an important fear for Business Owners who wish for their systems to be virtual – what happens to brokers an agents if their Contracts with their Real Estate Clients are hacked online? Everyone understands that a Real Estate Transaction involves sensitive secure data – are the Systems of Cloud Computing secure enough to protect the required financial Data from leaking into the wrong hands?

This iBlog was about explaining Cloud Computing – the kind of computing that does not require Data Storage on local devices; we must understand that some data must remain secure and Device-dependent, and other type of data like music can be lost without the loss of Business Opportunities. The mechanisms of trying to solve internet access are not always a one size fits all.

Happy iBlogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Strategist

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Responses

  1. Key, thank you so much for your insight and sharing this with us. I had heard the term but didn’t have any idea what they were talking about. I am looking forward to test driving this technology.

  2. Thanks Key for giving clarity to an often “Cloudy” understanding of the never ending development of new ideas that will one day become a reality in some form, maybe the original idea is even out of date by the time of usable delivery.


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