(Reprinted from the Metro Spirit, June 22, 2011)
The other week at the Jones Creek-National Hills swim meet, the group of parents I was sitting with got into a discussion about Cloud Computing. Apparently, there are a number of questions still remaining about cloud services. Here’s some of the discussion that I think might be helpful. Enjoy!
- When you put your data in the cloud, is it protected by angels?
While I’m not a theological expert, I do know that there are many references to clouds in the scripture. One verse that comes to mind is Job 37:16, “Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?” I’d have to pass this question along to my pastor at Wesley UMC for a more knowledgeable response. Rev. Porterfield, could you address?
- We have a friend whose computer often gets knocked out by power surges. Why do Google and Microsoft put so much power in their clouds?
As your friend correctly observes, cloud computing harnesses a great deal of energy. If not applied correctly, things have the potential to get out of hand. The old ways don’t hold up well when you hook into the cloud. I would recommend that your friend seek professional guidance.
- When I apply patches, will that help close holes in the ozone layer?
Very astute question. Keeping systems patched can directly mitigate the atmospheric impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Viruses resident on infected computers unnecessarily burn a tremendous amount of CPU and bandwidth as they systematically search, download or destroy your data. Patch your system and save the world from global warming.
- Does rain fall through memory leaks? I guess fixing them wouldn’t be good for farmers.
Memory leaks are a problem, but other cyber meteorological phenomena can cause greater impact on internet usage. For example, I recently heard about a bit coin mining operation that was wiped out by a broadcast storm. Simple rain through memory leaks isn’t a problem. Unless of course it turns into a bit torrent.
- If it’s a sunny day with no clouds, is my bandwidth going to suffer?
Not at all. Internet providers have their own weather teams, each with the internet equivalent of Live Doppler radar. If the forecast is for clear skies, proprietary algorithms kick in to ensure clouds are always available.
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