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Old 30th September, 2008, 05:13 PM
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Why Stallman is wrong when he calls cloud computing stupid

Written by Daniel
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Why Stallman is wrong when he calls cloud computing stupid

By Ryan Paul | Published: September 30, 2008 - 09:35AM CT
ARS Technica

Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman spent yesterday condemning cloud computing and is calling for users to reject popular web applications. He insists that reliance on web-based software poses a serious risk to freedom and privacy. Cloud computing is just a "hype campaign" perpetrated by software vendors who want to control users, he says, and the only way to fight the problem is to stop using the software.

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Old 30th September, 2008, 05:29 PM
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I just really have to lke this guy!

"Prodromou wrote in a blog entry this morning. "I don't believe loss of absolute control means that you lose your autonomy completely. And I think that exchanging some control in order to participate in social, collaborative computing is ultimately enriching for individuals and for society."
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Old 30th September, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Stallman is no doubt one of the most significant programmers in history, many would argue _the_ most, but he's getting to be a bit of a dinosaur. He's still very tin foil hat / black helicopter-ish.

The majority of the free software and open source people are alot more realistic.

As for his reasoning, I think its a bit flawed. Cloud computing isn't just cost effective and reliable, but its one of a handful of ways that we're going to control things like power consumption and datacenter size. Bring religion into an engineering problem just isn't a good idea.

The present situation, everyone has their own server that hosts something significant (ok there's shared hosting but I'm not talking about that). Most of those servers, AOA's server included, sit on their asses, doing nothing 95% of the time. AOA's server is a dual core Xeon that does a job that could easily be done by a Pentium 3.

Now instead of having a heap of idle servers, things like cloud computing and server virtualization allow you to spread the load of hundreds of physical servers over single high capacity mainframes while allowing load to be dynamically balanced over multiple machines.

At a cheap level we do something like building storage servers and instance servers. All data is on storage servers, and as more storage is needed more storage servers are added. Storage servers and instance servers share a backend network, and instance servers create a virtual environment off the disk volumes provided by the storage servers. Instance servers have no actual data on them and merely perform grunt work. If you want to move to a faster instance server, you transfer it like you would a phonecall, no downtime even though your whole server has moved between two physical machines.

End result is you can run your however many servers at 50-80% utilization rather than at 5%.

That is more the virtualization infrastructure behind things like amazon's elastic hosting and many software service vendors but you get the idea, and why I'm such a big supporter of this tech.
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Last edited by dsio; 30th September, 2008 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 1st October, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Cloud computing will find it difficult in some corporate environments, unless the 'cloud' is internally hosted. At that point, how different is "cloud" computing to "thin client" computing?
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