Monday, May 11, 2009

Cloud computing – compatibility mode :)

Well, as you all know cloud computing should allow you to have webtop – your regular desktop accessible from Internet (the Cloud).

I think idea is nice, however we are not there yet. There are many solutions that tries to achieve that. Some are providing you with “true” desktop experience, like eyeOS, glideOSiCloud or Startforce, some are still working in “compatibility” mode.

You can ask what compatibility mode means – it’s my term for solutions that are synchronization only and one of “nodes” or computers is online desktop. Good examples are tools like Live Mesh, Syncplicity or Dropbox.

Even though webtops like iCloud are getting nicer and more eye-candy, I still think time for webtops hasn’t come yet. It’s nice to try, however I can’t imagine replacing full desktop with webpage. My first concern is performance – even if uploading\downloading files would be only 50% of time on my desktop (which would be major improvement compared to current solutions), I would still feel it’s too slow.

Second related problem is that I want to store my Windows applications stored in cloud – utilities like Total Commander, Notepad++ or Miranda. Even if that would be possible, running and using such applications would be much slower compared to local access.

Therefore I prefer “tweaked” mutant desktops (half-cloud, half-physical).

My cloud is combination of multiple tools:

  • special outlook rules for synchronization of emails (Outlook\Exchange <-> Gmail)
  • LastPass for password management
  • Live Mesh for synchronization of documents, tools, installation sources
  • Ketarin to keep installation sources up to date
  • FlexProfiles to transfer configuration

Currently I want to have a look at Xmarks – utility to automatically synchronize bookmars (as you maybe remember, I complained that Live Mesh cannot handle conflicts properly and this is especially case with Favorites) and play a bit more with FlexProfiles to create seamless application configuration synchronization tool.

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