Real-World Cloud Computing
Great and Powerful Cloud Computing
Whether Using Simple Cellphones or PCs, Many Great Cloud Stories Throughout the Land
By: Roger Strukhoff
Oct. 4, 2010 07:15 AM
Much recent discussion about Cloud Computing has focused on the datacenter, given Oracle's major push at its recent annual trade show, the recent skirmish by HP and Dell to acquire storage manufacturer 3Par, and Cisco's new push to create "borderless networks" with the datacenter in the middle of all this.
But we shouldn't forget what we want Cloud Computing to do. In the past few days, I've seen three interrelated examples of doing something interesting with Cloud, all involving the use of simple PCs and cell phones at the user end. All are designed with improving local economies in mind:
Online Markets in Developing Countries
As Julius explains, "a key part of UWIN is an eRegistry that functions as a digital registration of people; their life events such as births, deaths, marriages, financial transactions, and assets-houses, land, livestock. It also registers the owners' trade or profession, and through asset securitization, mobilizes the currently dormant trillions of dollars in local assets in developing nations to generate capital that is tradable with the global economy."
"The eRegistry is part of what we call The Open Information Exchange platform, which extracts information from the eRegistry. When coupled with a proprietary algorithm, it matches up supply with demand of different needs from livestock farmers to buyers auction style, it will match virtual doctors to patients, products and services to buyers etc."
The solution we are offering is not being done anywhere in developing nations; creating and utilizing a comprehensive eRegistry mechanism would take best valuation processes from the Wall Street world to the developing-economy world."
UK Food Supply Chain
The Telegraph goes on to report, "according to Richard Walters, of supply chain experts Azurance, 'It is abundantly clear that consumers want more regional food. The evidence shows that buyers struggle to find producers. (But through the use of PCs,) sophisticated food trading hubs will enable buyers and sellers to locate each other and transact business on a sustainable commercial basis. This can only be good for the country and the environment.'"
"Many food producers are small businesses who lack the scalability to meet the demands of the supermarkets, but for their part, the supermarkets battle with the challenge of sourcing the volume of local produce to meet a growing consumer need," Walters added. But new "industry-specific trading hubs...allow producers to offer their produce for sale, organize the transport logistics involved and get paid. Matching supply to demand becomes comparatively simple."
A vast network of agents (supermarkets, gas stations, many other stores) act as agents for the program, enabling its widespread use; there are now 6.5 million subscribers, in contrast to 3 million bank accounts in this country. The program has also been launched in Tanzania and Afghanistan, and there are plans to expand it further.
Meanwhile, more quietly but as successfully, two major Philippine telcos, Globe and Smart, offer similar services. GCash and Smart Money allow bills to be paid, money to be transferred, remittances to be sent to and throughout the Philippines. Sources of cash can include bank accounts, cash, and credit cards.
These programs can function on the pre-paid model, in which there are no contracts but simply upfront cash (as little as 25 cents in the Philippines) to "load" phones to call, text, or send money. If a phone is out of load, it can still receive calls and messages. Wouldn't that be sweet to have in a "developed" nation, such as, oh I don't know, the United States?
All of these projects are delivered by The Great and Powerful Oz; pull back the curtain, and you'll find those datacenters, delivering on the promise of Cloud Computing in a way the original wizard could have hardly conjured.
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Latest Cloud Developer Stories
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
Most Read This Week