Post image for Cloud Means Freedom – Evolution & Revolution

When you think about earth-bound items, you think of things that are landlocked, tethered to a solid object or constrained by physicality. We, as a species are largely terrestrial, grounded with our feet on the ground and limited by gravity. For centuries if not millennia, humankind has dreamed and endeavored to break away from terra firma and soar beyond what surrounds us, to fly with the birds, to journey off into space and to explore that which we do not know. The spirit of exploration and the quest to understand the unknown propels us as a civilization to move beyond our established, comfortable environments.

From the tales of Icarus who attempted to escape the confines of Crete by means of flying like a bird in the clouds, to the Wright Brothers flight tests at Kitty Hawk, to the incredible journeys of NASA’s rover Curiosity, our future is in the sky. Those dreamers who push the limits of the known are uncommon and therefore noteworthy. But every person on this earth dreams to invent and create, even in the smallest of ways. Innovation is what propels our societies forward. And never before have we had the tools and means to innovate and create.

Having worked for the past 5 years in the cloud computing landscape, or should I say, “skyscape,” I have witnessed an evolution or dare I say, a revolution. Sure, cloud technology has advanced, bringing all types of innovation, new services and features and plenty of new players to the marketplace. This is typical of evolution. A new concept is developed, it is vetted and tested, first movers begin to adopt it and it either grows or dies, depending on the adoption, the speed of this adoption and how much force is behind it. But in terms of it being a revolution, that is where the freedom comes into play.

Let’s take some examples here. First let’s start with evolution. The one that always comes to my mind is that of the 375-million-year-old Tiktaalik roseae which was a critical evolutionary animal that represented the transition from swimming fish to animals that walked on land. As the Tiktaalik evolved from a deep water-based environment to more shallow waters, their bodies adapted and evolved to work better in a changing environment. As the Tiktaalik moved into more shallow water, it needed to be able to support its larger body as it fed. These appendages (formerly fins) were used to prop its body and pull itself along. Over time, not only did exterior changes take place, but even the bony element in fish, previously used to coordinate the feeding and respiration motions of the head, transformed over time to create the bones that would eventually be used for hearing. As this transformation took place that meant that gill respiration was used less, especially in shallow water. This led to the development of primitive lungs (in combination with the existing gills). But enough about evolution. This particular species adapted to its environment and evolved to survive. Shallow water lacked oxygen and the evolution of lungs meant not only survival but freedom to enter into new environments.


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Post image for Using Cloud Computing to Test, Develop and Innovate

Are you using cloud computing yet? If so, that’s great. If not, what is holding you back? Do you know enough about it? Do its capabilities confuse you? Have you not found a good use for it? I would guess that you are using cloud computing without even knowing it.

As I work in the cloud industry, I get to see the trends as they happen and what innovative ways people are using the cloud to drive business success. Honestly, I think that developers and companies are only just starting to tap the vast potential of cloud computing. While many of the early cloud adopters of (gasp) 3 years ago most likely now have fully vetted out business plans, products and services that hinge on the elastic scalability of cloud infrastructure, for example, we now are seeing the next round of innovators who are living and breathing the tech industry revitalization via the successes of their peers and colleagues.


And the business possibilities are only growing because of the successes of others. Think about social media, social sharing and community services that appeared a few years ago (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and the like). Also think about longer established product and service delivery sites like Amazon or Netflix. Those have communities tied to them as well. As these services grow, their data store of user preferences, likes, purchases, and interactions grows as well, exponentially, in fact. In order to accommodate this huge influx of social and personal data as well as to build recommendation engines and inter-networking with social data, new technologies are coming to light (think Big Data, for example).


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