Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thoughts from CloudScape II

Day two of CloudScapeII threw up a lot of questions about the future development of clouds. In his morning presentation Kyriakos Baxevanidis, from the EC, encouraged the audience to think about what users will use clouds for:

- Will they be used for small science, big science or both?
- For computation? Data sharing/storage? Or all?
- Will we require them for secondary tasks or core tasks?
- Public or private services?
- And are grids and clouds diverging/converging/or should we look for hybrid solutions?

Another EC presentation, this time by Jesus Villasante, reminded us of some of the issues we face with cloud computing including
- lock-in
- interoperability
- reliabiltiy
- privacy

The panel discussion at the end of CloudScape went some way to answering these questions. Panellists Ignacio Llorente and Mirco Mazzucato both see grids and clouds cooperating in the future. Ignacio thinks clouds will become integrated into e-infrastructures, with private clouds evolving as a way to share resources. Mirco added that the two can share a lot of technologies, and will probably converge.

The panel pointed out that while the data component of clouds is the most successful today, the diverse regulatory landscape of Europe in particular makes it hard to put into practice. Can providers guarentee where data is stored? And if content is encrypted how can providers check that what they're storing isn't illegal? In the area of public clouds security is seen as a major issue. Making the right data available to the right people for the right purposes is a non-trivial task.

Of course the question of the difference between grids and clouds also popped up (our GridBriefing might help with this one), as did many different definitions of clouds. What do you think about cloud development in the future? We're definately looking forward to finding out!

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