The closure of file storage site Megaupload should not be read as a failure of the Cloud computing model, according to University of Sydney’s Chair of High Performance Computing and Networking, Professor Albert Zomaya.
Speaking to Computerworld Australia Zomaya said claiming that the closure of Megaupload illustrating that the Cloud model was doomed was analogous to claiming that an ISP going bankrupt spelt the was the death of the internet.
“It is not judicious for people to make a sweeping judgement on a type of technology [based on Megaupload’s closure],” he said. “If one website goes down then it is bound to come back to life again and at the same time if a site goes down then it doesn’t mean the whole [Cloud] technology isn’t working.”
Zomaya said that at the same time, both business and consumers were ill-advised to rely solely on one Cloud provider for a given service, such as file storage.
“All people need to do is be a smart about the way they use Clouds,” he said. “If I am a business, rather than a mum and dad storing photos in the Cloud, then I would invest in multiple providers and perhaps some kind of small private Cloud in my own environment. If I am a small business and I can’t afford a private Cloud then I would invest in multiple Cloud providers.
“If you are a home user and you want to store some movies, family albums, etc it might be savvy to invest in some storage as you can buy a terabyte or two of storage for next to nothing. That means you don’t stop storing things in the Cloud, but it does mean have that secondary storage to be on the safe side.”
Businesses also needed to be mindful of as-yet unresolved regulatory issues, such as those around data sovereignty, Zomaya said, however, in the longer protection for company and individuals’ data would make Cloud storage a more attractive prospect.
“I think we have to be careful of the whole multi-jurisdictional aspect of Clouds; this is still very much an issue of legislation and it is an evolving issue,” he said. “I think we see resolution to that in due course.
“That would make it much easier to make sure that whatever data you are storing in the Cloud is either saved or protected and you have the right to retrieve it at any time. It is a very fast and fluid area but we are seeing the technology stabilising.”
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If doubts existed over the public Cloud, then the way that Cloud had changed the economics of ICT ownership and use would mean that private Cloud services could not be ignored.
“Organisations are furiously experimenting with Hadoop and other vendor-delivered private Cloud solutions and what is really going to drive the Cloud and make it happen is that we are living in the era of big data,” he said. “In the corporate world the cloud is definitely here to stay.”