(First of all, I beg pardon to Spanish readers: quiero excusarme con quienes solo entiendan el español, pero las siguientes líneas son una recopilación de mi debate en un foro en inglés)
The Gartner’s forecast that I transcribed recently in my blog (“Personal Cloud to replace PC by 2014”) is been discussed widely along the Internet. Gartner explain that 5 megatrends will foster that movement. Let me say my opinion about: I agree (not in the timing, not so quick) and, besides the big ideas behind the megatrends that Gartner explains, I think of other pros and a few cons:
In brief, I think we’ll always (?, at least in near future) need a “terminal” to access the Cloud, but it does not need to be a PC, in fact I think a lot of people will connect without it. In fact, I say nothing different from the whole Gartner’s article states (the title is provocative for catching our attention).
Of course, someone can argue that a lost of connection may be a problem: yes, it is, as well as when nowadays electric power is lost, and everybody assumes it (or special users plan measures to face up to it).
Other can argue that the speed or time taken for your data to reach you may be a disappointing problem, for example, a Graphic designer working on a Adobe or CAD application or a hardcore PC gamer storing a graphic file in cloud and how much time it takes him to open that file. About these subjects in my opinion you should take into account 2 points:
- First, most of users are “normal” fellows, I mean they doesn’t work on IT related companies, so they doesn’t need such performances …
- Second, in the other hand, if you need high performances you’ll probably be able to get (in the future, maybe not in 2014, but not too far): I mean, it would be as the electricity power again: if you are a normal citizen, you’ll have got a “normal” grid connection in your house, but if you are, for example, a small industry you have to get an advanced, more powered, grid connection enough for your needs (at higher cost, of course)
Other will argue that having the cloud replace PC’s assumes near universal internet connectivity (and bandwidth enough). And currently isn’t true anywhere in the world, but it will be, and as other technologies, it will spread from more advanced areas to the remaining ones may be slowly but continuously.
On the other hand, for years, what let me call “remote session technologies” have been in place: from the mainframes, to current virtual desktop, trough Sun’s X-Ray station o Citrix server, and so on. Those technologies allow you changing from terminal, reconnect to a disconnected session, and also give you the ability to roam between sessions. But Cloud is going beyond desktop virtualización, and appears new concept as Cloud Desktop (or Desktop as a Service, DaaS, and so forth) since new features appear:
- You virtual desktop is not supported by a private server anymore, with limited scaling factor, but a CloudComputing infrastructure: agile, elastic, always on, self-service and unlimited (as you pay for, at least in theory) platform.
- Ability to automatically sync all your remote devices (for example for offline use or after it).
But, in my opinion, Personal Clouds must solve some problems in order to facilitate their massive adoption by users and companies. Right now I want to state two problems: privacy since the whole data management process is in the hands of the Cloud providers, and the lack of interoperability between Personal Cloud services. I will focus in both problems next day (Note: that problems are been inestigated in the project “CloudSpaces” that I will describe in a few days, and a solution is been developped int the Tissat’s SatckSync product)