Tag Archives: cloud computing

Tell me what I want before I want it…

But stop invading my personal space.

It’s a tricky juxtaposition to deliver seamless personal service whilst not freaking consumers out with a big brother approach. I for one HATE banners, especially the ones that stalk me for days on end, however, I would like my utilities provider to remember who I am and take me to the last place I visited, or a nice welcome back page, rather than straight to paying bills even though I have a Direct Debit set up and they owe me money.

So given we’re seeing the fastest evolution in how we interact with devices ever, and that cloud computing means everything is on hand instantly, how long before intelligent assistants make all of our decisions for us?

The key difference will land when the predictive nature moves from our smartphones into our cars, our homes and eventually our offices en masse. It’s happening already; cars are synced to Spotify lists and traffic lights, in-home devices monitor how many bodies are in a room in order to moderate the heating but, this connectivity is not everywhere, yet.

Wearables are bridging some of the gaps; how long before my GP phones me up because my heart rate is too high when I’m out running or how long before my digital radio wakes me up to Stevie Wonder to sooth the after effect of a bad dream…

I’ve been prototyping with A.I solutions recently and can’t help but wonder when I will be able to curate my party playlists based on who’s attending, when I will be able to book taxis to pick up my guests and drop them off in the most effective order possible, when I will NEVER have to do a tax return again or manage my inbox…

I reckon true anticipatory computing is closer than we think.

Now get out of my cloud.

girl-on-a-cloud

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The future’s cloudy

I’ve been asked a few times recently what this is, in simple terms, so here goes:

Cloud storage basically lets you create documents and save to a central location which, you can access from all of your devices; laptops, tablets, mobiles etc.

This means you can view or edit your files on the hop, wherever you want without having to sync or transfer explicitly from one device to the other. Your work is effectively floating, like a cloud, waiting to be rinsed for information.

So, if you’re running to a meeting and you’ve picked up your personal mobile, not your work mobile (not that I ever do that of course) it means you can save your graces and find the file regardless.

Phew!

Want to know more? I thought this post was insightful too.

 

 

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What is Windows Azure?

I’ve been picking the brains of some of our developers to really get to the bottom of what Windows Azure can provide; it’s interesting and really quite useful so I wanted to share my learning’s.

Firstly to understand what it is, it’s worth just remembering all the things you usually have to consider when developing a new service:  the OS you need to use, the network and how that will interact with the system, storage needs – scale, geography and so on…

Quite a lot really… so wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to get through all that before you start bottoming out your idea? Well that’s what Windows Azure take care of – all those things you need to consider so you can concentrate on making your service great.

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. It’s designed to be a place where you can run your service, at scale, on the internet.

Furthermore it takes a service centric view of cloud computing so it manages the entire cycle from design to deployment to ongoing monitoring and deployment of optimal versions of your service.

It consists of three layers:

  1. The Fabric layer, an abstract set of computer resources in the data centre consisting of multiple computers, running virtual machines, running windows.
  2. The Storage service, which is there to help manage the data coming in from your service in a reliable and scalable way.
  3. And the Developer experience.  This packages up the Fabric and Storage layers with all the API’s integrated in visual studio and delivered through an SDK (Software Development Kit).This can then be downloaded for free so you can develop and test the service locally before you deploy to the cloud.

So not only does this remove the stress of the pre-mapping stage, make the development a whole lot easier but you can also manage confidential information in a private cloud whilst rich content can be run in the public cloud AND it also works on a scalable model.

Obviously when you launch a new service you hope the uptake will continue to grow and you’ll reach a peek at some point in the scale of the growth. With a lot of buying models now you need to estimate that peak and pay upfront. Windows Azure runs on a ‘Pay as you go’ model.

If you want to learn more about the using Azure then you can visit www.dev.windowsazure.com

We heart cloud computing…

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