Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing
Cloud computing might or might not be a way of the future, but in any case, it will be understood only in retrospect. IT history is full of dashed hopes and big surprises. Magnetic bubble memory and the Internet broke on the scene in the 1970s. Both were expected to change the world: magnetic bubble memory didn't, and the Internet did. Cloud computing is yet another story in a long-running argument about whether to create large, consolidated service centers and link them to users through data networking or whether to distribute computing resources among users. There is a trade-off: consolidated resources are often more efficient and distributed resources are often more effective in meeting users' needs.