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Larry Carvalho

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Connectivity and Its Importance to Cloud Computing Solutions

Many cloud applications should be built to function in a disconnected environment

Recently I was having a conversation with Jeremy Geelan on Skype, sharing screens on the proposed cloud expo boot camp agenda, and then the most annoying thing happens: the local electric company drops power for two whole minutes. I lose my Internet connection and we resume our conversation about 5 minutes later.

Although this is rare in our neighborhood, this was just an annoyance without too much of loss of productivity. On the other hand, a disconnected scenario can be severely more painful if it happened in a commercial setting. Imagine the following scenarios if with a broken link: A manufacturing shop floor application running on a hosted application; a retail store Point of Sale application on a Friday at 5 pm; an insurance agent standing with an application running on an iPad completing a claim at an accident site.

Application developers are accustomed in building applications to handle unexpected failures. Building this redundancy is time consuming and requires rigorous testing. However, if a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) vendor provides it as part of the platform capability, it would open up a huge benefit to software developers to construct innovative cloud enabled solutions that were not as easy to develop before.

If an application gracefully handles disruptions and outages on the network, and the fallback strategy is acceptable and usable, there will be a lot greater acceptance of cloud-based solutions. Platform as a Service vendors need to build security, metering and multi-tenancy as core tenets of functionality, but being able to function in an un-tethered environment would be a benefit that you should consider while choosing a platform.

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Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.