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Cloud Computing: A Retrospective

Enterprise Cloud Roundup

Symantec recently took a stroll down memory lane to revisit the first seeds of cloud computing that took hold more than a half-century ago.

Symantec created an interactive timeline that illustrates the history of cloud computing, highlighting just how far the technology has progressed.

The interactive map, however, does more than just recall the roots of cloud computing; it provides an opportunity to look ahead as well.

Symantec has plans to help usher in an era of safe, agile and efficient cloud computing. It recently outlined a strategy to get there, which includes providing companies with a variety of cloud solutions to address their specific needs and current IT environments, according to an article on CMSWire.com.

The future of the cloud holds plenty of challenges. As cloud computing becomes the new normal, many companies are looking to move their businesses to the cloud. To meet these needs, and to continue to evolve alongside changing technologies, businesses should look to cloud computing not as a means to an end, but rather as an enabler of change, according to the article.

Making Cloud Computing More Efficient
MIT researchers are hoping to clear up some questions companies may have before they make the move to running applications in a cloud environment.

Moving Web-application servers to the cloud is an attractive option for companies of all sizes, since cloud-computing services can offer economies of scale, extensive technical support and easy accommodation of demand fluctuations, according to an article on MIT's Website.

But for applications that rely heavily on database queries, cloud hosting can bring with it a host of questions. Cloud services often partition their servers into "virtual machines," each of which gets so many operations per second on a server's central processing unit and a certain amount of memory. That makes cloud servers easier to manage, but for database-intensive applications, it can result in the allocation of about 20 times as much hardware as should be necessary.

MIT researchers are developing a new system called DBSeer that should help solve this problem and others, such as the pricing of cloud services and the diagnosis of application slowdowns.

Netflix Offers Big Cash for Cloud Innovations
With an extra $100K, you could buy quite a few of those red-clad DVD rentals you often forget to return.

Netflix is challenging developers to improve the features, usability, quality, reliability and security of cloud computing, and will fork over $100,000 to those that can do it best, according to an article on PCMag.com.

"Cloud computing has become a hot topic recently, but the technology is still emerging," Netflix CPO Neil Hunt said in a statement. "No doubt many of the key ideas that will take it to the next level have yet to be conceived, explored and developed."

The Netflix Cloud Prize is divided into 10 categories, which will be judged by a panel of independent technology pioneers.

"The Netflix Cloud Prize is designed to improve understanding of what it takes to build native applications for the cloud that take full advantage of the opportunities for scalable computing," Hunt said.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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