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Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Opinions | 2 comments

Steve Wozniak Cloud Computing Drawbacks

Steve Wozniak Cloud Computing Drawbacks

Steve Wozniak Cloud Computing Drawbacks Discussed… In a recent public interview, one of the co-founders of Apple Computing, Steve Wozniak a/k/a “The Woz”, offered what he felt were valid drawbacks to the technology of cloud storage and development. His opinions, as always, offered some insights into cloud technology that should bear closer scrutiny. Let’s take a look at four areas that could affect the end user.

Data Security

To a large degree there is overwhelming evidence that points to the fact that a user’s data is susceptible to attacks from hackers. It is statistically true that hackers breaking into data centers has become more commonplace. A cloud server is not immune to this type of vandalism. In a common scenario, once the cloud security has been compromised, the data is then stripped from the storage facility and is maliciously destroyed or sold to other parties. These parties will then use the data to compromise finances, create fake identification, etc. Recovering from this type of fraud is extremely tedious. It is not the intent of Azure Pilot to dissuade people from using the cloud for storage purposes. However, hacking happens both on and off the cloud, so data security is an issue for everyone, not just cloud providers and cloud users.

Network Latency

The internet, as we all know, is susceptible to weather, traffic usage and other outside influences that can cause speed problems. Anyone who has ever played an online game can attest to the fact that internet traffic is unreliable. One need only remember the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and how that affected the internet for many weeks. An eBusiness owner must keep in mind that the availability of the internet and the speed at which it passes data is an integral part of their customer’s satisfaction. While cloud services are vulnerable to this network latency situation, all network services are vulnerable to the same.

Network Unavailable

Depending upon the provider, the internet can go down at a moment’s notice. The cloud then becomes unavailable for either business or personal use. Weather, hackers, older equipment, software corruption, to name a few, can easily knock out your connectivity and leave users marooned on an island with no way to access data. “Network unavailable” status issues will always be present. There is no way to guarantee network uptime, all the time. However, these issues are not just issues which face the cloud community. All online and virtual networks have issues.

Development Platform

Although Steve Wozniak’s fears fall into the above three categories, it is still software that makes the world go round. Ease of development, fast track design, coding tools and a simple method for building applications is necessary to ensure that a new technology will flourish. In the rush to be the first on the block with cloud services, there has been no fundamental standard put in place. There is not a general language to use to address all aspects of cloud computing. Standard and non-standard interfaces offer a complexity that is daunting for most developers who only want to code their application and design their data stream. Until some type of multi-purpose development platform that takes all of the cloud’s advantages into account is launched, software will be slow in coming.

Steve Wozniak was the developer behind Apple and Steve Jobs was the dreamer. Jobs would think it and Wozniak would make it work. His opinions are absolutely valid and should be given due consideration.

2 Comments

  1. The infrastructure for cloud computing has been in existence for many years. But only in the last 2 years there has been interest to commercialize this on a level that can be attractive to start-ups. This of course has to do with the fact that successful start-ups grow at a very fast rate and demand much more resources. Animoto for example grew from 50 to 3500 servers in just 3 days! This could not happen in the past with no upfront investment.

  2. The Woz has his concerns, but as you point out they are the same concerns for storage and data tech whether on the cloud or off. Wish The Woz would get edgier and more controversial!

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