Discovering Cloud Computing

November 22nd, 2011

You hear the term cloud computing everywhere, from Microsoft “To the Cloud” commercials, to Amazon, even iCloud from Apple.  Cloud is one of the biggest buzzwords in the industry right now, but it’s not a new concept.  In the early days of computers, you connected to large mainframes via dumb terminals.  In the mid 1980’s the personal computer came of age. Today the PC is everywhere—I mean everywhere. There is a PC on our desk, there’s one in your backpack. There’s even one in our phone.

The connections to the Internet are becoming faster, allowing more and more data to be transmitted in seconds.  We take for granted that a message can travel across the globe in seconds, “Did you get my email?” seems to be the “Hello, how are you?” of today.

There are many definitions for cloud computing. In this article I will touch on the three that relate to the design industry: Public, Remote Private, and Private.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a network of servers located in a data center, or multiple mirrored data centers around the world, that provide services for many people to use. These services could be a simple as email—Hotmail, for example—or as complicated as applications such as Google docs.  A public cloud is just that—open to the public. You provide your login information from any computer, then you can access the information on their servers. In a public cloud millions of users access its data every second of the day. Facebook, Hotmail, Gmail, and even AUGI’s forums can be considered a public cloud.

Remote Private Cloud

A Remote Private Cloud is a network of servers located in a data center where resources are assigned to your company. Even though these resources are assigned to you, your company may be sharing some or all of that infrastructure with other companies. It is the job of the data center provider to keep your data secure, safe and accessible only to your company.   Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are good examples of a Remote Private Cloud.

Private Cloud

A Private Cloud is hosted in your office and is located where your data is today. A Private Cloud’s hybrid nature allows both your local users and your remote users to access the same data quickly and securely. There is no need to copy and then sync data from your local network to your remote network daily, because the data is never moved from your own private network.  With a Private Cloud you are in control of your network—you control who gets in.  Because local network speeds are so high, your local users with older equipment can share the resources of the cloud, saving you money in equipment upgrade costs. Services such as BIM9 can help you integrate Private BIM Clouds in your organization.

Today the design community is finally realizing the promise of remote computing, allowing us to access data from anywhere, anytime. To learn more about Private BIM Clouds, go to www.privatebimcloud.com .

Bill Debevc is an expert in Information Technology and Autodesk software specializing in Private BIM Cloud technologies. He has more than 15 years experience using, supporting, and customizing Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit software. As a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) he uses his extensive Information Technology (I.T.) experience to implement industry leading I.T. solutions for the AEC industry.  Recently, as the Technical Manager for BIM9, Bill is now sharing his knowledge about Private BIM Clouds to help the AEC industry reduce costs and increase productivity.  You can find Bill at Bim9.com or via email at [email protected]

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