What do you see in the Cloud?

Cloud

From a background of application hosting and development I see the cloud as a collection of services and technologies that provide high availability and on-demand scalability, that when combined with web protocols and infrastructure and the HTML5 family of concepts, result in a vastly improved user experience at minimal costs.

To realize these potentials we need to approach our application designs with an eye to the granular aspects that get separated and served from the right cloud services. Concepts such as what content is static, what is dynamic and how dynamic, who our audiences really are, how long our data should be retained, data usage context, how we interact with our customers and how we can leverage the secondary distributers that may repackage our data such as Google search.

Once we break our application down into these types of elements it becomes a few small applications that live in the preferred environment for their purpose; the right tool for the job. The great thing about this is many of these micro apps are often elements of other applications we want to develop and our new applications become a portal, or better yet a mashup presentation of existing services and views.

Static Content

Static content accessed through a consistent URL can take advantage of caching at every tier including the web browser itself. Large quantities of permanent or infrequently changing data can be cheaply stored in repositories such as RackSpace Cloud Files, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Windows Azure Storage all approximately $0.10 / GB / mo for storage and $0.12 / GB / mo for bandwidth. That doesn’t even begin to address the myriad of options for media specific hosting from providers such as YouTube, ImageShack, DropBox, SkyDrive, public portions of Facebook, LinkedIn and more!

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