Cloud Computing

Reading this week’s article on Cloud Computing by Jaegar, Lin, Grimes and Simmons (2009) made me really feel ‘the power of technology.’ This specific phrase, the power of technology, is what my friends and I used to say half jokingly and half seriously whenever something miracle-like seemed to be happening. However, now I know it really is kind of like magic…hahaha I love how I am constantly amused and surprised by new innovations and what those innovations entail.

When I started reading Jaegar et al.’s article I was not really sure why environment was a topic that had to be considered compared to more obvious ones such as jurisdiction, ownership and privacy. However, learning about how datacenters required so much energy I finally understood how this is actually a great concern of all of ours regarding the environment as well as a place for investment and new jobs. In terms of the last point about new jobs refer to the following blurb:

Eco Factor: Data center to make use of renewable energy wherever possible. Lockerbie Data Centers has been given the green light by Dumfries and Galloway Council to develop UK’s largest data center. The £950 million project will create about 3000 jobs for 10 years and provide firms with a 250,000-square-meter storage facility. The data center will be powered by renewable sources where possible, which might include a sustainable heat and power system as well as localized gas production units. Moreover, the heat generated by the equipment can also be harnessed as an ecofriendly source of energy.

The above was taken from EcoFriend.

And the following is also from EcoFriend and is the Google patent for the floating data center that was mentioned in the article.

Eco Factor: A Data Center that uses wave energy to fulfill all its energy and cooling needs. It seems that people are realizing the power that the ocean holds in its waves with concepts like Wave Powered Gymnasium coming up. Google seems to have unearthed another gold mine by visualizing a data center that floats on the sea. Google apparently filed a patent in the US Patent and Trademark Office in early February 2008. The document shows Google’s plan to build giant floating data centers on waves. The new data centers would be completely powered by wave energy and a freshwater-seawater cooling system would be used for cooling the peripherals. A data center of one square kilometer area would produce 30 MW of electricity and Google says that this would be sufficient to run the data center. This not only cuts down on fossil fuel use, but keeps the data centers close to customers and reduces transmission power.

And not surprisingly Google gets the patent by 2009, about two years after they first proposed the idea about the floating data center. Here is an article about Google getting its patent approved:

Google Gets Patent for Data Center Barges

So what is next? Maybe something floating in the air? Oh wait…that already exists…satellite….dang, is there anything that has not been invented yet? This reminds me of the exercise we did in class a few weeks ago with writing down any potential future computer mediated communication tools or ideas. Would anybody like to share what they wrote? I know we only got to hear like one or two ideas. I am curious to hear what ya’ll had in mind!!


About marialarahwang

Doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.

7 responses to “Cloud Computing”

  1. marialarahwang says :

    Italicized phrases/parts are where hyperlinks are. 🙂

  2. Christine Hoyt says :

    Looks like we were on the same wavelength this week. The environmental issues stood out most to me, but I like that you also linked the issue to investing and job opportunities as well. This article is a perfect example of how the creation of more date centers increases investing opportunities, and job opportunities I am still surprised at how quiet the conversation on energy efficiency has been. Starting this year, data centers can apply for Energy Star ratings, but as far as I can tell, no formal laws have been passed yet.

    • marialarahwang says :

      Thanks for the article Christine. I am with you on the fact that there does not seem to be much light shed on this matter. I was very surprised that it has not been talked about in more depth. It does seem like jobs will be created but maybe not necessarily for Americans as this country is trying to promote as a “solution” to the economic downturn. However, it will be very interesting to see how Google progresses with this project and delve into the cloud based computing field as more and more competitors such as Amazon, Apple and more are jumping on the band wagon as well!

  3. Christine Whittam says :

    I agree with your last statement, is there anything that hasn’t been invented yet!? I’m sure in a few months someone will be coming up with some new invention, but I cannot seem to think of anything that will at least improve life.. it seems we have everything we need. Even with the talk of the new Ipad coming out next year; I cannot even begin to think of what this new Ipad will have that the Ipad two doesn’t already have. I was at a loss with what to write during that exercise; but after seeing the “kissing app” video I have a feeling we will be seeing some very, very interesting inventions in the future.

    • marialarahwang says :

      I am right with you on that. Definitely hard to see where things will go since we have so many amazing gadgets with so many affordances but we know somebody out there is creating something CUH-RAZY that will just dazzle us all. Hopefully, that will be one of us from TC but I have a long way to go before I could do something like that. haha.

      A little note on the iPad…I mean I think it is great but Apple purposely left out features that they could have definitely included if it were not for profits only. USB has been mentioned, using more than one application at the same time has been mentioned…Apple has the technology…they just want you to have an iPad AS WELL AS a laptop and what not. So when they say a new iPad it is pretty much another well strategized scheme to get our money. And I fall for a lot of their ploys unfortunately, 😦

  4. patrickscioscia says :

    Hi Maria. I like your analyzation of the articles and agree with your worries. Something that wasn’t mentioned that personally scares me is that these barges will be in international waters. Though we are worried about how the hammer of the law may impose itself, should we be worried about the lawlessness on the open seas as well?

    • marialarahwang says :

      Oh wow! Patrick, you are right! I did not think about that at all!
      Kind of off topic but I grew up in South Korea and we fight over an area in the East Sea with Japan constantly. Both sides claim that it is each other’s part of the country. It become so difficult when it comes to literally vast openness of water.

      The article about Google definitely mentions a little bit about jurisdiction but not much in detail. I am assuming the problem you brought up is one of the concerns.

      I have to think about this more to formulate an opinion or something…thanks for bringing this to my attention though.

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