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Focusing on Cloud Computing

On Friday Jeffrey Rayport and Andrew Heyward of research firm Marketspace presented their views on cloud computing as part of the Google D.C. Talk series. Held at the Newseum, the speakers were joined by Bernard Golden, CEO of HyperStratus. They sought to provide more clarity on cloud computing and identify challenges for policy makers.

Rayport and Heyward used the opportunity to release their paper, "Envisioning the Cloud: The Next Computing Paradigm." Rayport, who says the cloud leads to easier collaboration and cost savings, believe this "is one avenue for the United States to assert economic and technology leadership on a global stage." Rayport said this "reality" for consumers "will become the 'new normal" in corporations and organizations." But he cautioned that this is not the time for "rapid fire government intervention" and regulation. He and Heyward say government should "clear the road, not pave it." In other words, government should find ways to increase accessibility to the Internet and examine policies related to information ownership and storage. However, they believe the government should steer clear of quickly legislating and regulating "this dynamic new space" until there is more time for the cloud to "grow naturally" in a competitive marketplace.

They point to eight elements for furthering the cloud and achieving success through it:

Universal connectivity- users must have near-ubiquitous access to the Internet

Open Access- users must have fair, non-discriminatory access to the Internet

Reliability- the cloud must function at levels equal to or better than current stand-alone systems

Interoperability and user choice- users must be able to move among cloud platforms

Security- users' data must be safe

Privacy- users' rights to their data must be clearly defined and protected

Economic value- the cloud must deliver tangible savings and benefits

Sustainability- the cloud must raise energy efficiency and reduce ecological impact

Additionally, the report also looks at the benefits of the cloud, including: anywhere/anytime access, specialization and customization of applications, collaboration among users, processing power on demand, storage as a universal service, and cost benefits. See the paper for more information.


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