This report argues for the use of an OS-ready cloud VPS (virtual private server) to replace a crashed standard PC system through exploration of the following topics:

>>> CIO: Cloud & rise of the third platform
>>> Wall Street Journal: How cloud changes our lives
>>> Atlantic.Net: Windows cloud VPS hosting

CIO: Cloud & rise of the third platform

You may be familiar with a concept called the third platform. IDC released a list of 2014 predictions that focused heavily on the emergence of the platform, with the research firm claiming it will be highly disruptive throughout the global marketplace. Prompted by the IDC announcement, renowned cloud expert Bernard Golden (called one of the top 10 cloud thought leaders by Wired) penned an article for CIO in March, summarizing the third platform as including the following:

  • virtually distributed machines, a.k.a. cloud technology
  • mobile devices and usage
  • big data and the analytics surrounding vast stores of information
  • social media (online portals that allow internal and external brand stakeholders to interact, synergistically enhancing value).

The report demonstrates a rapid-fire transition to the third platform, the fast-paced and efficient virtual model that serves as a follow-up to the first two platforms, which were mainframe computing and the PC (or, as Golden puts it, “client/server/Internet technology”).

Typically cloud hosting services focus on speed and efficiency, as we did above. After all, Geoffrey C. Fox, Ph.D., an associate dean in the Indiana University School of computing, told the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2013 that the cloud can often outperform a super-computer since wait times become essentially obsolete. However, the third platform goes beyond the product’s usefulness to reshape how and by whom IT services are provided and who deploys and manages them.

The important note about the third platform is not that it’s starting to become competitive with the traditional model but that it represents an area of increased spending throughout the industry. According to the IDC prediction, almost all IT growth this year, a total of 5% will be generated through the third platform, representing 29% of total information technology expenses. Half of the spending on the third platform represents a replacement of legacy systems.

Wall Street Journal: How cloud changes our lives

Joe Mullich of the Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent article in 2011 that, though a bit dated now, offers some excellent insight into the potential of the technology. Here are several of the most exciting ways in which Mullich argued that the cloud would reframe life as we know it:

Easier to repair & maintain electronics

Part of what makes the cloud particularly compelling is that it is a fundamental component of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is – similarly to cloud computing – a general term referring to various networks of connected objects. As the Internet of Things grows with the cloud, we will get notified when batteries in our electric cars are depleting, household electronics need general servicing, and healthcare equipment parts fail. Daniel Burrus, the author of the New York Times bestseller Flash Foresight: How To See The Invisible and Do The Impossible, notes that technicians will be able to access the cloud through apps on their tablets to get need-to-know information in real-time, epitomizing “a wave of just-in-time training.”

Would you rather have flight or invisibility as a superpower?

Well, the cloud may not be able to allow you to fly through the sky, but it can help you achieve another superpower: invisibility. When computer users look up information through a search engine such as Google, Mullich opines that “they usually don’t realize they are accessing billion-dollar computer networks.” As the cloud becomes more mainstream and hence increasingly affordable, we will be able to more easily access high-performing anonymous environments, which can enhance the privacy and security of anything we do. Plus, by checking with IP addresses from virtual machines in various locations, we can lower the cost of airline tickets. You can even create a new OS-ready Windows cloud VPS each time you browse.

Invisibility will also be possible in that sensors will replace the need to use a computer mouse and keyboard directly. Dan Reed, head of the eXtreme Computing Group at Microsoft, notes that the type of technology used in its Kinect system foresees a captivating futuristic scenario: we enter a building for a service, and “there could be hundreds of sensors in it that could respond.”

They will have what you want in stock.

Mullich cites consumer polls revealing that shoppers often use the web-to-store model for purchasing larger items: they look for what they want online and then head to the brick-and-mortar location to buy. However, consumers have been frustrated with traditional systems, which don’t update inventory in real-time, resulting in sites displaying products that are no longer in stock. Cloud allows more accessible information that updates moment-to-moment.

Furthermore, Mullich argues that catering to mobile shoppers in every possible way is essential to the continuing relevance of retail stores: “Retailers’ brand value will be dramatically affected by how they satisfy these mobile-savvy shoppers.”

Atlantic.Net: Windows cloud VPS hosting

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By Kent Roberts


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