Networking

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Why I'm trying to take to the cloud

But what's to stop my plan crashing back to Earth?
Internet cafe

Bandwidth seems to be available and sufficiently good for mobile working but the wide disparity between upload and download speeds remains a big issuePhoto: Shutterstock

Written in a hotel coffee shop 12 miles from Cardiff and dispatched to silicon.com via a free 50Mbps wi-fi link.

For over five years now I have been increasingly working in the cloud, gradually edging away from the old towards the new. But today I take a larger step than ever before.

Goodbye to my 15-inch screen and dual-core PC. Farewell to my 500GB hard drive and CD slot. I'm not entirely sure about this move. But it's hello solid-state memory, single-core CPU, 13-inch screen and a greater dependence on connectivity.

I struggle with change like the next man, and it is generally a bit of a painful experience. But the work I do and the challenges I face demand that, at the very least, I eat my own dog food.

How could I profess to understand the cloud if I weren't a part of it? And how could I advise on remote working and virtual companies if I wasn't participating? I couldn't.

Pushing for change is not an option - it's what I do and it's what I have always done. I have to experiment to discover and innovate.

So here I am, first week out with new kit and a more advanced mode of working. Two things triggered this change. First, my trusty 15-inch laptop is awaiting new parts and needs some repairs after recent condensation damage in the tropics.

Secondly, looking at bandwidth and its availability as I travel, I seem to be able to find sufficient of both commodities for my needs so far - although the predominance of bandwidth asymmetries poses a real challenge and operational limitation.

This graph shows the quality of bandwidth I have used recently and how it is vastly better outside the UK

This graph shows the quality of bandwidth I have used recently and how it is vastly better outside the UKImage: Peter Cochrane/silicon.com

Certainly, I could do with faster and fatter connections with symmetric upload and download speeds. But right now networks seem just about to suffice, provided I...

About

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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