February 12th, 2015 by Timothy Borne
When we think about artificial intelligence, what comes to mind is usually none-too-friendly fictional examples like HAL and the machines from The Matrix, although there are some more friendly AIs, like Data from Star Trek. Friendly or not, we’re a long way from having functional AIs of this type, but over the next few years, most of us are going to be relying on a narrow sort of AI: AIs capable of organizing a limited subset of data in useful ways.
January 6th, 2015 by Timothy Borne
If you’ve been in the IT industry for a while, you’ll have an almost instinctive familiarity with what the cloud is, its various modalities, deployment models, and types. Intuitively, one would think that a deep understanding would make the cloud easy to explain to less technical people, but in fact the opposite is true. It’s very difficult to put yourself in the mindset of someone who lacks the conceptual framework that those of us who have been around enterprise IT for a long time have developed.
November 26th, 2014 by Timothy Borne
There has always been a lot of confusion around the exact meanings of the various cloud service models and their intersection with deployment strategies. That’s hardly surprising given that IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and a dozen other as-a-service modalities are a complex combination of marketing speak and technical jargon.
In this article, I’d like to tease out one confused strand: the relationship between Infrastructure-as-a-Service and public or private cloud deployments. I’ve chosen to address this topic because there’s often considerable confusion around what a private cloud is: I’ve heard people say that a private cloud can’t involve virtualization, that its just another name for traditional in-house deployments, that it’s a form of colocation, that Google Apps is a private cloud, and so on — none of which are remotely accurate or at least not completely so.
November 18th, 2014 by Timothy Borne
Even the smallest of modern companies use networks that are both heterogeneous and dispersed. Business networks are composed of multiple services spread over many servers in diverse locations. I’m a writer, so you’d think I could make do without much of a network, but when I add up all the services I use to run my small business, I find that I rely on an extensive network of personal computers, mobile devices, backup servers, file servers, cloud storage servers, virtual private servers, SaaS applications, web hosting servers, and email services; hosted in the cloud, in my home, and on traditional hosting; and distributed all over Europe and the US.
October 7th, 2014 by Timothy Borne
There’s a dream of the cloud in which data flows freely around the globe, available anywhere, stored wherever is convenient, and detached from the normal concerns of information management. Technologically, companies don’t have to care about where their data is stored: it’s in the cloud and the cloud encourages users to be agnostic about which server, which data center, and even which country their data is housed in. But, legally and politically, the location of data matters a lot.