Posted By Zen Kishimoto,
Saturday, January 31, 2009
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The following are a couple of my thoughts on the second day of CloudConnect. The ultimate way to realize a green data center might be outsourcing the data center (cloud computing).
First, the panel discussion (see the picture below) was focused on the vendor lock-in. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is in theory agnostic to any OS or libraries and should be straightforward if necessary to move your stuff away. PaaS (Platform as a Service) vendors like Google and Force.com make it easy to develop your code with their libraries. But when you move away from their platform to another one, you need to spend nontrivial effort to port it to a new platform. Thus, it will be hard to move away and may precipitate vendor lock-in.
Also, considering the very thin margins with a large investment on software, hardware and data center buildings, only a handful companies can provide cloud computing. Cloud computing is great but if only a few can provide such services, I wonder what will happen. Some regulatory control may be necessary like telephone companies. Otherwise, a handful cloud computing providers may dominate and control your computing.
Second, AWS services include several pieces now. EC2, S3, SimpleDB, and SQS are well known among them. One service discussed today was very interesting for me. That is called Amazon Mechanical Turk, which is:
“Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence. The Mechanical Turk web service enables companies to programmatically access this marketplace and a diverse, on-demand workforce. Developers can leverage this service to build human intelligence directly into their applications.”
I think Amazon is very smart in providing such service as something is very hard to do with computer, which might be easily done by human. Examples include comparing two photos to see if they portray the same person and putting business card information on-line. Each task is very simple and mechanical, and pays very little. This is an ultimate job bidding via the Internet.
The Turk, according to Wikipedia is as follows:
“The Turk or Automaton Chess Player was a chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century, and exhibited from 1770 for over 84 years, by various owners, as an automaton but later explained in January 1857 as an elaborate hoax”
This machine actually had an expert chess player in the box. Amazon named it after this machine. Then, incidentally I found this machine at the conference site (Computer History Museum)
as in the picture below.
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