Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I read this article in the ToI today ... about G-Drive taking your desktop online ... The article says ...

The GDrive would make it possible to access and update information like emails, photographs, music, documents and spreadsheets from any device with an internet connection.

Now, this is quite interesting. What this is saying is that there need not be a distributed mechanism for storing information. Now, this has been a concept which has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. I remember coming across this in the 90s. Question then is, how is this different from some of the earlier attempts at getting data onto a central server rather than store it on your desktops? This is close on to the massive advertising campaign that Microsoft is running for Windows Skydrive. The idea seems to be to have people store their data onto a "cloud computing" resource (apologies for having misquoted the concept, but then, i never really understood it completely ... or, to be precise, haven't been able to understand how the concept is different from the World Grid project, or Grid Computing, that Oracle was talking about a few years back!).

The article also raises a very important question ...

However, there are some who think that trusting Google with so much personal or commercial data is dangerous, for information may not be as safe in the cloud as it is in a computer.

Now, this is the classical dilemma that a lot of organizations, especially folks within organizations, who are trying to get people to share the information they have access to, have been facing. How do we get people to share information, and knowledge which flows from this, with others. Here, however, its not about how, but the question seems to be rather, of, how to address these concerns.

Though, thats not even what i am thinking about. I am looking at how a concept like this is different from the content management systems which a lot of organizations implement, with an idea of getting content from people's hard drives, and putting them on a server, for easier, and wider accessibility. But then, even in a scenario like this, the question is not so much about the "cloud resource", or the platform for storing this information, but rather, about the need of people to do so, this need, in turn, being derived from the motivation to do so.

No comments: