Thursday, June 19, 2008

Federated Clouds

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt defines cloud computing as the convergence of information. The cloud aggregates raw data, organizes the data so that it becomes valuable as information, and the information is accessable from any device anywhere. The organization of the data to transform it into information is where the "computing" term is justified in Cloud Computing.

So in a nutshell, clouds organize data to create value in terms of targeted information that can be sold or auctioned, such as advertising keywords, or the best price on an airline ticket. However, information truly is unbounded, and thus there will be many specialized clouds to add very specific value to specific raw data sets. For example, the data maintained in Amazon's cloud and its computational processes to create a searchable book store are very different compared to Google's Web Service or NASDAQ's Data Store.

Given the fact that not even Google can encapsulate all knowledge, diversity of information will lead to a commercially motivated federated system of clouds. Each cloud has its own optimized data organization capability to generate valuable information for profit. Amazon and Google will have opportunities for innovation that nobody else has due to their scale, but peripheral innovation will occur through aggregation, or mashups, of data residing in different clouds, thus creating a federation of clouds.

As far as the starting premise of what makes a cloud a cloud: convergence of information, the federation of clouds continues this premise, and thus can be seen again as a cloud.

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