This entry is inspired by two advertisements of the cloud (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aCYZ3gXfy8&feature=youtube_gdata_player and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsVGDUkWTHI), that surprised me on how this notion is being incepted in specialists and common non-specialized audiences.
Most technical and somehow academic definitions of the cloud include the idea of unlimited access to resources implying somehow the idea of “big size”. Indeed, some communities tend to define the cloud as if it was all about XXL matters, that is, scaling data processing and storage, exploiting computing resources through map reduce models, load balancing, and high performance computing techniques. Yet, I believe that it is important to go beyond the size and define the cloud using other key features. For instance, data long life and flexible persistency, resources continuous availability and sharing are three key factors that seem to be used by cloud vendors for “grand publique”.
The cloud as an infrastructure is of course about exciting computer science challenges but it can also be used just as an execution platform, with the ambition of avoiding the burden of managing other platform services like a DBMS, an IDE, a Web server and rather using these services “on-line” as long and as much users need them. There is room for a transparent use of the cloud where all the benefits of having unlimited resources are there to be exploited and where people can concentrate on fulfilling a specific requirement that can be: building an application, or uploading personal photographs that can be instantly accessed through different devices.
Anyway, I believe that technology users in the different roles they play (online-players, developers, social contacts, companies assets, …) should have a look at the experience of being cloud users and have a first touch to “ubiquitous” access to technological services on XXL and XXS contexts.