Oluwakorede Asuni

The cloud – Our new home?

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I grew up around stories that the earth can no longer support man and we have to look for a new abode.

Where? Where will man make his new home?

I asked these and many other related questions many times and the usual and confusing answer – coming from mostly my pre-teen peers as confused as I am – is space.

My appropriation of space then was something in the clouds – today, many, ok not so many years after, it still is. And dateline for our ultimate transition to the cloud, man’s new abode was the magic year 2000.

Today, grown – yes, if I go by counting the number of hairs on my chin– and a lot more appreciative of the challenges that face man’s continued habitation of the earth, I smile when I think about those years.

Indeed man has not relocated to the clouds, but his data has – or more appropriately is doing so.
Increasingly, the cloud is housing our data – whether or not we like it. And going the way of the cloud seem the most sustainable approach to data management and storage.

Nerds and those who pay them, believe so much in the concept of cloud computing – which in its most literal interpretation stands for computing suspended or housed in the skies/clouds, but in its real  and most basic sense stands for shared computing  resources accross boundaries of geography (and if you will time and spac) – that entirely new technologies have been and are being developed to manage what exists and create new avenues for  enabling and entrenching the concept.

Infact, there are such things as privately owned cloud – yes a piece of the sky – and public clouds and a lot of in betweens. This concept promises a lot of benefits and a lot of reasons to be (or not to be) concerned. Benefits largely includes:

  • lower/low costs of ownerships and;
  • in some cases no ownership as hardware  and software can be/are now provisioned as services and on demand service too meaning you use and pay for what you have used
  • universal remote access – you can reach and manage your assets in the cloud from wherever you are –yes even from space if you happen to be on a Virgin Galactic’s tour of space in 2017
  • little or no dedicated expertise – yes, most cloud computing features at the moment downplays the need for a huge IT staff

The many reasons for worry and for which many people are working without sleep to remove include:

  • Cloud unfriendly government regulations – OMG! Yes, I don’t know of many, but the Canadian government forbids the storage of data generated in Canada anywhere outside its borders. True I do not know the depth of this regulation and also the exceptions should there be any.
  • Security! Yes, good old security! How in the world am I certain that my data is not been stolen, corrupted or…?
  • Bandwidth – or what I have come to regard as the cost of reaching your/the cloud(s), but with the recent finish example embargoing telcos in the ISP business to provide nothing less than 1MBPS data to all citizens (whether or not they need it I guess) there may be hope of fast and optimal access to the clouds, but whetehre that will be affordable or not we are yet to see.

Well, no matter your reservation(s) for the cloud – I hate going to live on the cloud myself, valuing the safety and reassurance of the solid ground beaneath my feet – we have all been involved one way or the other with the cloud, except of course you are not reading this online (yes, a copy of it will be in my collection of essays and that well, offcourse will be printed online only 🙂 ) , or you do not use email, social network or  have an hosted website. And for those of us who already benefit from the battle for supremacy between the giants Microsoft and Google and the smaller giants, we already enjoy free storge, Software as a service and some who are extrememly perfect at milking situations, already own our own private cloud and guess what it is free of charge.

Oluwakorede Asuni, was a 2008/2009 Microsoft Anti-Cyber Crime (MISSPIN) Ambassador in Nigeria , founded and managed the technology consulting outfit ‘Korede Asuni Consulting which provided IT services to small enterprises and non-profits in Nigeria. He currently works with CIVICUS an international non-profit based in Johannesburg South Africa, where he happily lives with his MacBook:) !

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