FREE MOBILE CLOUD COMPUTING CONCEPTS - TRAINING_MODULES_WITH_TONS_OF_VIDEOS
When Larry Page and
Sergey Brin began work on a project called BackRub, they probably didn't envision the enormous corporation that would grow
out of their early efforts. This project evolved into Google, a juggernaut
of a company that competes on a global scale with other mega corporations.
While the company has products ranging from Web-based e-mail to
collaborative office applications, its corporate mission has remained the same.
Google intends "to organize the world's information and make
it universally accessible and useful" [source: Google].
Google's search engine is the oldest and likely most famous tool
in the company's arsenal. But the engineers at Google view organizing the world's information as a job too complex for just
a search engine. The company designs tools and services that relate to its mission, sometimes in ways that aren't obvious
at first glance. One major focus for the company is cloud computing.
Google isn't alone in offering cloud computing services. Companies
like Apple and Microsoft offer products that either directly involve cloud computing services or rely on them in some way.
Amazon, the online retail giant, has a thriving cloud storage business.
That doesn't mean Amazon has a warehouse filled with fluffy, white
clouds. It means the company rents out storage space within its massive data centers. If you are running a company that wants
to offer a Web site or service to customers, you may consider using a company like Amazon to host your data.
Google also has a
reputation for building enormous data centers. In The Dalles, Ore., Google has a data center built next to the Columbia River.
Each building in this data center is about the size of a football field. The location has many features that make it attractive
for a data center: It's near hydroelectric dams, which makes power accessible and economical. It's also in an area with a
fiber-optic network, which allows for lightning-fast data transmissions.
These huge facilities are necessary for Google to carry out its corporate mission. Not only must the company search
and index the world's information on the Web but it also has to provide the power for a growing network of cloud computing
services. Now, let's take a look at exactly what cloud computing means.
Cloud computing is
a popular buzz term in technology circles. The phrase has a vague sound to it. What exactly is cloud computing?
At its most basic level,
cloud computing is a model for remote computer access. The idea is simple: You use your computer and an Internet connection to make contact with a remote server. This server, which is really just a computer,
runs applications using its hardware. You're able to influence the application by executing commands through a Web browser
or other user interface. But the remote server is doing all the heavy lifting.
Why would you want to use a cloud computing system? One reason
is that it lets you access applications your own computer might not be able to execute. Your computer only has to run a Web
browser or simple user interface. In most cloud computing applications, this client-side program places minimal demands on
your machine's resources.
That means you can take advantage of a variety of programs and services without having to continually invest in the
fastest computers. Since the cloud computing service is handling all the processor work, you just need a machine capable of
connecting to the Internet.
Another major selling point for cloud computing services is that they allow you to access your data on a variety
of devices no matter where you are. If you rely on your own computer to execute programs, you're limited to that machine unless
you make special arrangements.
You may have to e-mail a file to yourself so that you can access it on another device. You may have to set up a home
network to allow file transfers between machines. And there's the risk that you'll duplicate the file in the process, which
can be confusing further down the road -- which file is the real one?
Cloud computing services store your information on remote servers.
You can log into the cloud computing service using your account login and password. You don't have to use the same computer
or device each time.
Google is in a particularly good position when it comes to cloud computing. It's a large, stable company, which means
customers can be reasonably confident that their services and data won't disappear overnight. Its leadership team includes
engineers who know how to create solutions for computer centers. And the company has demonstrated that its philosophy of using
inexpensive equipment rather than cutting-edge machines works.
Next, we'll take a closer look at how Google creates a cloud.
One of the challenges of working with electronic documents is finding a simple way to collaborate with other people.
Using the old method of opening up an application on your computer, creating
a file, saving it and then sending it to someone else invites problems.
First among those is that this approach generates two copies of
the document. If you make changes to your copy while other people make changes to their copies of that same file, how do you
incorporate all the changes?
Which version of the file is the correct one? What happens if someone opens an older copy of the file and makes changes,
not knowing that a more current version of the document already exists? File management becomes challenging.
Google Cloud Connect approaches this problem by leveraging the cloud
and the application programming interface (API) for Microsoft Office. After installing a plug-in for the Microsoft Office
suite of programs, you can save files to the cloud. This means the cloud copy of the file becomes the master document that
everyone uses. Google Cloud Connect assigns each file a unique URL. You can share this URL with others to let them view the
you designate someone as an editor, that person can then download the document and open it in Microsoft Office.
If you make changes
to the document, those changes will show up for everyone else viewing it. Should other editors make changes, you'll see them
reflected in your copy. When multiple people make changes to the same section of a document, Cloud Connect gives you the chance
to choose which set of changes to keep.
So how does it work? When you upload a document to Google Cloud Connect, the service inserts some metadata into the
file. Metadata is information about other information. In this case, the metadata identifies the file so that changes will
track across all copies.
The back end is similar to the Google File System and relies on the Google Docs infrastructure. As the documents
sync to the master file, Google Cloud Connect sends the updated data out to all downloaded copies of the document using the
metadata to guide updates to the right files.
Microsoft offers its own online collaboration tool called SharePoint. But unlike Google
Cloud Connect, SharePoint isn't free. Businesses interested in SharePoint must purchase a license to use it on their computers.
But since SharePoint is a Microsoft product for Microsoft Office applications, there's a tight integration of features that
Google can't match. ++++++++++++++++++++++++