The Union is in the Cloud

Russ Steele

As I often do, I observed the ERC Board Meeting this morning. The guest speaker was Dave Schmall The Union Publisher, who gave an insightful review the changes at The Union over the last 90 days. They are going digital and The Union is in the Cloud. All 26 of the Swift newspapers are in the Cloud, and are now capable of sharing stories and information.  According to Schmall, the staff has been in training for 1/2 a day, everyday for the last two weeks, on how to use this new Cloud Computing tool.

What is  Cloud Computing you ask?   There’s a good chance you’ve already used some form of cloud computing if you have an e-mail account form Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail.  Your mail is stored in the cloud and accessed over the Internet.  The e-mail application is running on a remote server farm some where in the world, depending on which e-mail service you are using. The e-mail software is not on your computer but in the cloud.

In cloud computing the software tool are not on local computer, but on huge farms servers running virtual processors over a broadband network.  The desk top computers, laptops and smart phones are just your interface to the virtual servers and the storage devices. The critical link is the broadband network. The Internet allows users to access the Cloud resource from any where their is a network connection.

Cloud computing is highly dependent on broadband networks.  We do not have the most reliable broadband networks in Western Nevada County.  One of the observers at the Board Meeting recounted how her business was down for two week, when both the AT&T and Comcast networks connection to her office went down.  The business depended on network connections, and is installing a dedicated network at a much higher cost.

I am assuming that The Union is using a dedicated network, or as a minimum both of our local broadband connections, one to back up the other.   Cloud commuting is highly dependent on broadband access and at the present time, Western Nevada County is not a hotspot for highly reliable broadband.

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One Response to The Union is in the Cloud

  1. Arthur M. Day. says:

    What happens when cyber-criminals learn to make the Cloud rain wealth?

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