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Director, OpenShift Strategy at Red Hat. Founder of Rishidot Research, a research community focused on services world. His focus is on Platform Services, Infrastructure and the role of Open Source in the services era. Krish has been writing @ CloudAve from its inception and had also been part of GigaOm Pro Analyst Group. The opinions expressed here are his own and are neither representative of his employer, Red Hat, nor CloudAve, nor its sponsors.

5 responses to “Cloud Computing and Developing Countries – Part 2”

  1. Shankar

    Hi Krishnan,
    You haven’t addressed the perform concerns raised by one of the comments of the earlier post. Applications hosted on the cloud are indeed slower than the ones hosted on a dedicated server. Normal business apps serving web pagses/process workflow should be ok, but as the applications increase in complexity, from word processor to spreadsheets to drawing, the cloud computing experience is less than optimal. What steps are the cloud vendors taking (if any) to address this problem? (Or should we just wait for the CPU speed/system throughput to increase?)

  2. Krishnan Subramanian

    I do agree that the performance is less than optimal in the case of clouds. However, I haven’t seen any benchmarks that shows a better performance by these applications in the dedicated server environment. Do you have any benchmarks to share?

  3. Andy Williams

    I have just come back from 3 months in southern Africa, a trip that included the richest (South Africa) and poorest (Madagascar and DR Congo) levels. My trip was to evaluate the operating characteristics of National Standards Bodies as a part of a EuropAid project. NSB develop standards using groups of national experts and also participate in international projects, an activity also based on discussion and consensus across internationally located groups of experts. Amongst the things these organizations need are ways to collaborate electronically, and for that reason I was wondering about collaborating via The Cloud, as on paper it looks ideal. But with the hindsight granted by this project I am of the opinion that right now this is not at all practical. To depend on such ways of operating in the national contexts of (non)availability of public and non-public services lays such organizations open to short- to long-term problems of non-functioning systems. For example in Swaziland ‘broadband’ arrived last year at a level that is way way below (512) anything now ‘normal’ in USA, Europe, etc. In Zimbabwe internet wasn’t function in the NSB for the four days I was there. In Madagascar the NSB had been without electricity for more than a month. And so on. From the comfort of our homes and offices in ‘developed’ countries we know what it is to have “always on” connections, not just to internet but also to basic services, including those that connect us to the web such as electricity and phone lines. We read reports that make – frankly extraordinary and exaggerated – claims about how widely connected is the world. It’s not like that, at least not in a reliable way, and as a result the relevance of “The Cloud” to even the best functioning organizations (and NSB are typically relatively well organized, it’s the nature of their role) is right now close – in my opinion – to zero. It’s not just the connectivity, it’s also basic availability of hardware to connect! So, sadly, Cloud Computing for the developing massed is not just not around the corner, it is a long way down a very long road.

  4. Eric Segal

    Cloud computing is clearly dependent on internet access. Not necessarily broadband, but at least some internet access. And a couple of years ago it was clearly impractical.

    But have things changed now? I was in Rwanda recently and saw a tremendous amount of fiber optic cable being laid.

    If we are beginning to see areas in the developing world that have somewhat decent, somewhat dependable internet access, I’d argue that is the perfect time to start experimenting with SaaS as a solution for small/medium sized businesses in those areas, so as access spreads, we have experience under our belts that we can use to expand SaaS as internet access spreads.