Are Cloud Interoperability Standards Necessary?

The IEEE is looking at implementing standards for cloud interoperability. The question is, are these standards necessary?

I think we can start a good argument over this. Pick your side. I’m taking the side of yes.

I’m not particularly hip to regulation and oversight, but sometimes it works. Say what you will about the FCC, but for years it did a pretty decent job of keeping the airwaves clean of dirty talk. Public roadways keep traffic moving in this country and truckers, the backbone of our capitalist infrastructure, stay on time and get the product delivered.

The IEEE is also the organization that gave us global wi-fi, as the article points out:

IEEE is the professional engineering organization that formulated 802.11 Ethernet, which became the standard for the global implementation of Wi-Fi, David Bernstein, chairman of the initiative’s two working groups that were announced Monday, noted in an interview.

I certainly would not be the first person to say that regulation is necessary on anything, but cloud computing services have become so common now and with so many cloud services attempting to make a buck on the trend, there are bound to be errors and issues. A common standard surrounding cloud interoperability can keep the industry in line just as it does with electrical standards on residential housing construction.

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Cloud Computing Has Reached The Consumer

Cloud computing has finally reached the consumer level. It didn’t take long, but it serves as confirmation that cloud computing has really gone mainstream. There’s no stopping it now.

Traditionally, cloud computing has been something only of interest to large corporations. Enterprise solutions have addressed certain needs of businesses with multiple locations worldwide, but in the last two or three years there has been an increase in small and mid-size businesses taking an interest in cloud computing. Now, Amazon is offering a consumer product in the cloud – music hosting.

Will it fly? I think it already has.

The initial offer is for 5 MB hosting space for free. An upgrade is available to 20 MB for $20 for the first year. That’s a good introductory offer.

Consumers who have been standing on the sidelines wondering what all the fuss is about over cloud computing can now find out for themselves. Host your music on Amazon’s servers and you can access them from anywhere in the world. You can access them on your Android or on your laptop. Rock on!

Never let it be said that businesses get all the best deals. Consumers now can get in on one of the best deals of the Internet in a few years. Cloud computing now allows you to store your favorite music albums and clear out some of that space in your attic.

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Data Storage And Cloud Computing

Data storage is often the first step into cloud computing for many companies. They have their in-house computing systems and they are happy with them, but they’re outgrowing them. In a move to free up space on their own computers, they opt to move some of their programs, data, and information into the cloud for storage.

Keep in mind that data storage and cloud computing are not the same thing. You can store your data on your own computers, CDs, DVDs, and external hard drives. But that may not be the most efficient use of those assets.

As a company grows, the need for more storage space grows. Do you really want to invest in new computers for storing your data every couple of years? Eventually, you will run out of storage space at your location. What then? Are you going to move into a larger building, pay more rent, pay more overhead? That’s not advisable. It can be less expensive to store your data in the cloud.

Because data storage in the cloud is relatively simple and easy to achieve, many small businesses are now opting for that route. They see the value in taking their historic data and moving it into the cloud. These are typically files that are not accessed often, but that companies want to maintain access to without sacrificing their day-to-day computing assets.

Data storage in the cloud has worked for thousands of other companies. It can work for you too.

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ASP, PHP, Linux, And Windows

Whether you use ASP or PHP to build dynamic websites is largely a matter of preference, but there are some things to think about before you make your choice.

If you want a programming language that offers a lot of support, then ASP might be to your advantage. PHP, being open source, has a support community, but that community is made up of volunteers. Your support will largely come from posting in forums and Q&A sites.

ASP is a programming language developed by Microsoft. That makes it proprietary. But there is advantage to using ASP that PHP can’t match. If you go the step further and use ASP.NET, which is a Web application framework, then you’ll have access to WYSIWYG editors and other developer helps that make development easier and quicker.

ASP is also typically used on Windows servers whereas PHP is more typically used on Linux servers. However, PHP is open source, which makes it more flexible and therefore able to integrate more easily into a Windows environment. While you can integrate ASP.NET into a Linux environment, it’s not as easy as going the other way.

Which programming language you use for your development projects is your decision. I hope these points are helpful in aiding you to decide.

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ASP.NET And Content Management

The beauty of working with ASP.NET is that you can use it as a standalone web development framework or use it in conjunction with one of the many content management solutions on the market. Here are 10 CMSs that are compatible with ASP.NET and that can help you take your web development to the next level.

  1. WordPress– Started as a basic blogging platform, but is now a full-fledged CMS.
  2. Joomla – Was the most popular CMS for a while until WordPress surpassed it. It’s still popular, and powerful.
  3. Drupal – Anything Joomla and WordPress can do, Drupal can do just as well.
  4. Moodle – You can run a full online training school with Moodle.
  5. Dropthings – Develop your own Web 2.0 community.
  6. MonoX – Build your own social network.
  7. DotShoppingCart – eCommerce has never been easier with shopping cart solution. You can build your website and your shopping together with one solution.
  8. Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware – Build your own portal, intranet, extranet, wiki or groupware site using this CMS for ASP.NET.
  9. SugarCRM – An open source customer relationship management solution.
  10. mojoPortal – Very popular CMS that allows you to develop your own portal along with blogs, forums, newsletters, polls, surveys, e-commerce, and other great features.

If you are looking for a powerful CMS to work with ASP.NET, try one of these content management systems.

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Is Your Server Dedicated?

You might think you have a web server all to yourself because you are leasing space from a web host, but don’t be fooled. If you have a cheap web hosting plan, then you likely do not have a dedicated server. You are using a shared server and that means other people have their websites and data hosted on the same server.

A dedicated server is one that you have all to yourself. You have no neighbors doing sketchy things on your server, inviting viruses, worms, and other nasties. It may or may not be an element of cloud computing.

If your dedicated server is one that you own and is situated at a data center facility remotely from your location, then it’s a part of a colocation service.

Another version of the colocation service is the managed server. You own it, but it’s managed by someone else. Often, this type of service is pre-arranged in that the manager sells you the server and continues to manage it for you.

If the dedicated server is loaded with software and applications that otherwise would not be included in a hosting plan, then that dedicated server also exists in a cloud computing environment. It likely costs more than a typical dedicated server, but when it comes to cloud computing, you get what you pay for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Why ASP.NET Programming Is A Useful Skill To Have

It used to be, in the early days of the web, that all you had to know was HTML to build a website. Then you had to learn CSS and PHP. Then came along Java and JavaScript. Of course, Microsoft had its proprietary offerings, but the main people interested in those were enterprise companies and megacorporations. Few other people had any interest in Microsoft’s web products.

Today, it’s a little bit different story. Even many small businesses are developing a kindred for Microsoft Web products. They’re moving away from Linux and toward Windows servers.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to learn about ASP and ASP.NET. The .NET framework is growing rapidly and the people taking an interest in having websites built on that framework is growing every day – and coming from unlikely sources. You never know who’s going to ask about ASP.NET these days.

I highly encourage every Web programmer to develop an interest in ASP.NET and to develop your .NET programming skills. You can do that through one of several tutorials websites online.

Here are three tutorials sites that can help you develop your ASP.NET skills through free tutorials:

Try these tutorials and brush up on your ASP.NET programming skills.

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Why Cloud Computing Isn’t Always Right

It’s easy to stand aside and say that cloud computing is for every company. But it’s not. The truth is, cloud computing just won’t work for every company. Here are some ways to know whether or not cloud computing is right for you.

  • Is your company so small that it is much more efficient and cost efficient to manage all your computing resources onsite? If moving to the cloud would cost you more money than you’re currently spending, then cloud computing isn’t right for you.
  • If moving your data storage to the cloud would effectively increase your storage volume, then cloud computing isn’t right for you. Cloud computing may not reduce your storage volume, but it shouldn’t increase it.
  • If your company has no need for data storage, Web applications testing, or web hosting, then cloud computing is not right for you.
  • If your current computing services cost less and do more than similar solutions delivered over the Internet, then cloud computing isn’t right for you.
  • If you can achieve better security onsite than you can through cloud computing, then you might be better off using your onsite facilities. Cloud computing, however, often can match the same level of security as onsite computing.
  • If you don’t like trying anything new, then cloud computing is definitely not right for you.

Cloud computing is a powerful mode of computing for businesses, but it isn’t right for everyone. Make sure it is right for you before you jump in.

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Cloud Computing And Web Programming

Does the nature of Web programming change when a company moves from traditional computing to cloud computing? No, not really. There are such minor differences that to note them doesn’t really pay any dividends, but most of the differences are positive anyway.

With cloud computing, you can do a lot more seamless testing of your Web applications. Cloud computing is just as secure as traditional computing and you can test your apps from multiple nodes around the world. With traditional computing, you are stuck testing applications only while on location.

The primary difference between cloud computing and traditional computing is with delivery of services. The software that you use for your programming and development projects is hosted online, or at the very least is delivered over the Web. This is as opposed to existing on your hardware at your location. Because the software is delivered online, it can be used by anyone in your company at any location. Therefore, you can have your Web development team collaborate on your projects online in real time with seamless ease.

For great programming tutorials that you can use for your cloud computing initiatives, visit The Web Made Easy.

Web development is just as easy in the cloud as it is at your home office.

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Cloud Computing: Virtue Or Vice?

Mention cloud computing in a room full of IT professionals and you are about to witness a riot. There are advocates of both positions – yes and no, good and bad, virtue and vice. Choose a side and start arguing.

Well, I can tell you which side I’m on. I firmly believe that cloud computing is a good thing. It may not be for every company, but for those companies that can benefit from it, they can certainly benefit from it in a big way.

Here are 5 good reasons that I believe cloud computing falls down in the “virtue” side:

  • Offers greater flexibility and control – With cloud computing, you can maneuver your computing systems more flexibly than you can when they are tied to one location.
  • You pay only for what you use – No more large mainframes sitting around taking up space. You pay for what you use, and that’s it.
  • You can free up space on your site – Instead of that computer room you spend so much money on trying keep cool, you can use that space for something else.
  • Cut down on overhead costs – That’s right, cut down on your electric bills and the costs of maintaining computing systems.
  • Testing in the cloud is easier for multiple work stations – Testing applications in the cloud is a lot easier if being used and tested on multiple work stations.

I could bore you with five more, but I think I’ll let it rest right there. Suffice it to say, cloud computing has its vices, but it’s mostly a virtue.

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