Monday, December 20, 2010
By Klint Finley / November 26, 2010 4:00 PM / 11 Comments
This post is part of our ReadWriteCloud channel, which is dedicated to covering virtualization and cloud computing. The channel is sponsored by Intel and VMware. Read the case study about how the city of Santiago, Spain turned to virtualization.
Google announced Chrome OS in 2009, promising the cloud-centric operating system would be available in 2010. Unfortunately, it will be next year before Chrome OS is widely available, Engadget confirmed this week. Google may release its own Chrome OS netbook next month, and there are already experimental builds available based on the Chromium OS source code. But if you don't want to wait for a finished, supported cloud-centric OS there are several you can download today.
Jolicloud, based on the Chromium browser, is one of the most talked about cloud-based operating systems thus far. And considering that it's based on the same browser, it's the one that's most clearly analogous to the Chrome OS. Jolicloud supports over 700 web applications.
Jolicloud was one of our top 100 web products last year. You can read more of our coverage of Jolicloud here.
Peppermint is a fork of Lubuntu that incorporates Mozilla Prism and configuration files from Linux Mint (hence the name Peppermint). The goal of Peppermint is to create an easy to use Linux-based cloud operating system. You can read our previous coverage of Peppermint here.
gOS, an older lightweight Linux operating system vendor, launched its gOS Cloud operating system way back in 2008. Our coverage is here.
EasyPeasy started life Ubuntu Eee, but changed its name after Canonical complained. As the original name suggests, EasyPeasey was first designed for use with Asus Eee PCs. However, the OS now supports other hardware as well. It's focused on low power consumption, providing wireless support out of the box and small screen optimization. In addition to the interface shown below, users can optionally turn on a more Gnome-like interface.
MeeGo is Linux-based mobile operating system based on the Qt framework. It's the result of the merging of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin. Unlike the other operating systems mentioned here, there are versions of MeeGo designed for handsets, tablets and vehicles. However, unlike the others, Meego can't run standard Linux applications. Our previous coverage of MeeGo is here.
It's a shame that Chrome OS and Microsoft's forthcoming ServiceOS (formerly known as gazelle) are getting most the attention right now. There are many other exciting projects in the works. Cloud OSes could be an exciting are to watch if the smaller players can gain traction and challenge the big guys. Meanwhile, if you want an ultra-light web-centric operating system, there are plenty to choose from today.
Lead photo by Michael Roper
Google's Eric Schmidt: Chrome OS One of the Most Important Developments of His Working Life
Google App Engine Gets Some Needed Upgrades
13 Reasons Why One Developer Dropped Google App Engine
A Service for Using Google Docs in Microsoft Office
Monday, October 11, 2010
William Clifford, 10.07.10, 01:00 PM EDT (courtesy, www.forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/07/energy-management-electricity-technology-cio-network-cloud-computing.html?partner=technology_newsletter)
If data centers aren't optimized for efficiency, cloud computing can amplify an energy problem.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Imagine you are walking in front of a big/small retail store suddenly you receive a crazy offer on the product that you have been looking to buy. You click yes. Enter inside the store for pickup without having to pay for it as its already been paid by you on the phone, or you can choose a delivery with to your house or any address.
Everything real time.
questions: how do we achieve this? The answer is CLOUD
You are walking in front of a big/small retail store suddenly you receive a notification with the items on sale, tells you whats new in the store or have a customer specific sale offer.
You are inside the store and the store knows which area in the store you spend the maximum time. You are looking for a specific colour shirt or size and are unable to find one. You send a query on your phone, if available its ready for you to pick up at the cash counter. If unavailable it will be delivered to you at your address.
.. more scneario's to come
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
from VisionMobile :: blog by Vish Nandlall
Are smartphones converging with laptops ? While smartphones enable a rich user experience, there exists an order of magnitude gap in memory, compute power, screen real-estate and battery life relative to the laptop or desktop environment (see table below). This disparity renders the whole question of smartphones vs laptops an apple vs oranges debate. It also begs the question: can the smartphone ever bridge the gap to the laptop?
|Apple iPhone 4||HTC EVO 4G||ASUS G73Jh-A2||Dell Precision M6500|
|CPU||Apple A4 @ ~800MHz||Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz||Intel Core i7-720QM|
|Intel Core i7-920XM @ 2.0GHz|
|GPU||PowerVR SGX 535||Adreno 200||N/A||N/A|
|RAM||512MB LPDDR1 (?)||512MB LPDDR1||4×2GB DDR3-1333||4×2GB DDR3-1600|
|Battery||Integrated 5.254Whr||Removable 5.5Whr||75Whr||90Wh|
As a matter of physics, the mobile and nomadic/tethered platform will always be separated along the silicon power curve – largely driven by physical dimensions. The laptop form factor will simply be able to cool a higher horsepower processor, host a larger screen real-estate and house a larger battery and memory system than a smartphone.
Does a smartphone need to be laptop ?
Yes it does…or, at least, it soon will. The low-power constraints of mobile devices have been the official Apple argument behind the recent Apple-Adobe feud – and Apple’s acquisition of PA Semi is a further testament to the importance of the hardware optimization in mobile devices.
The processing envelope for mobile applications is becoming stretched by the demands of next-generation mobile applications; always-on synchronization of contacts, documents, activities and relationships bound to my time and space; the adoption of Augmented Reality applications by mainstream service providers that pushes AR into a primary ‘window’ of the phone; advanced gesture systems as MIT’s “sixth sense” that combine gesture based interfaces with pattern recognition and projection technology; voice recognition and visual recognition of faces or environments that makes mobile phones an even more intuitive and indispensible remote control of our daily lives. All these applications require the combination of a smartphone “front-end” and a laptop “back-end” to realise – not to mention having to run multiple applications in parallel.
The appearance of these next-gen applications will also create greater responsibilities for the mobile application platform: it is now important to monitor memory leaks and stray processes sucking up power, to detect, isolate and resolve malicious intrusions and private data disclosure, and to manage applications which require high-volume data.
So we come back to the question, is there a way to “leapfrog” the compute and memory divide between tethered and mobile devices? The answer, it turns out, may lie in the clouds.
Enter the Cloud Phone
The concept of a Cloud Phone has been discussed oftentimes, most recently being the topic of research papers by Intel labs and NTT DoCoMo technical review.
The concept behind the Cloud Phone is to seamlessly off-load execution from a smartphone to a “cloud” processing cluster. The trick is to avoid having to rewrite all the existing applications to provide this offload capability. This is achieved through creating a virtual instance of the smartphone in the cloud.
The following diagram shows basic concept in a nutshell (source: NTT DoCoMo technical review)
The Cloud Phone technology has been brought back in vogue is due to advancements in four key areas:
- Lower cost processing power; Compute resources today are abundant, and data centers have mainstreamed technologies for replicating and migrating execution between and within connected server clusters.
- Robust technologies for check-pointing and migrating applications; Technologies such as live virtual machine migration and incremental checkpointing have emerged from the classrooms and into production networks.
- Reduced over-the-air latency; the mobile radio interface presents a challenge in terms of transaction latency. Check-pointing and migration requires latencies on the order of 50-80ms – these round trip times can be achieved through current HSPA, but will become more realistic in next-generation LTE systems. Average latencies in a “flat” LTE network are approximately 50ms at the gateway, which suddenly makes the prospect of hosting the smartphone application on a carrier-operated “cloud” very much a reality. Note that past the gateway, or beyond the carrier network, latencies become much more unmanageable and will easily reach 120ms or more.
- Mobile Virtualization; this technology offers the ability to decouple the mobile OS and application from the processor and memory architecture, enabling applications and services to be run on “cloud” servers. This has become an area of intensive research in mobile device design, and was covered in an earlier article by OK Lab’s Steve Subar.
Another consequence of the Cloud Phone model is that it provides a new “value-add point” for the carrier in the mobile application ecosystem. The low latency limitations will require optimizations at the radio-access network layer implying that the network carrier is best positioned to extract value from the Cloud Phone concept – plus operators can place data centres close to the wireless edge allowing very low latency applications to be realized. This doesn’t rule out a Google entering into the fray – indeed, their acquisition of Agnilux may well signal a strategy to build a proprietary server processor to host such Cloud Phone applications.
The raw ingredients for the Cloud Phone are falling into place; more users are driven towards SaaS based phone applications, and HTML5 is being adopted by handset OEMs. There is no shortage of applications waiting to exploit a cloud phone platform: in July alone, 54 augmented reality apps were added to the Apple App Store. Google has also broken ground in the Cloud Phone space with Cloud to Device Messaging which helps developers channel data from the cloud to their applications on Android devices.
What other Cloud Phone applications do you see on the horizon? When do you see Cloud Phones reaching the market?
[Vish Nandlall is CTO in the North American market for Ericsson, and has been working in the telecoms industry for the past 18 years. He was previously CTO for Nortel’s Carrier Networks division overseeing standards and architecture across mobile and wireline product lines. You can read his blog at www.theinvisibleinternet.net]
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Cloud Computing Podcast Series
Cloud-Related Podcast Episodes
Saturday, August 7, 2010
This post is part of our ReadWriteCloud channel, which is dedicated to covering virtualization and cloud computing. The channel is sponsored by Intel and VMware. How one company graduated to enterprise wide virtualization. Learn more in this ReadWriteWeb special report, made possible by Intel and VMware: Simplot Australia Takes Virtualization Beyond Test and Development.
The Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) announced today that it will make Google Apps for Education available to the 24 K-12 school districts, libraries, and all higher ed institutions in the state.
This means Maryland's 1.4 million students join those in Oregon, Colorado, and Iowa, states that have all recently moved to the Google's cloud-based educational suite of apps.
Google and Microsoft are in a fierce competition for school districts and universities to commit to their cloud-based email, storage, and document storage/collaboration offerings. Microsoft just announced last month that the 85,000 students at the University of Georgia were moving to its education-in-the-cloud service, Live@Edu.
It's notable, perhaps, that higher education students play a strong role in these sorts of university infrastructure decisions. That was the case at the University of Georgia. And it was the case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the lead institution in the MEEC in the push for Google adoption. Google cited Mike Carlin, UMBC's Assistant VP of IP saying that the students support for Google was a reflection of its compatibility with "their modern lifestyle."
But no mater the application package that students prefer, schools are moving to the cloud. Whether it's via the cloud-based communication and collaborative tools that Microsoft and Google offer, or with a variety of small edtech companies with software or platform-as-a-service offerings, back-to-school is going to be to-the-cloud for many school teachers and districts.