Cloud draws crowd


Cloud computing a popular topic at January ISA meeting.

Speaker: Rocky Giglio, Director, VMware/Microsoft Practice Arraya Solutions

The ISA Philadelphia section January meeting was well attended, with estimates of 45 present to hear about cloud computing.

Giglio first reminded us that we’re already likely to be familiar with various cloud systems, such as Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, Dropbox, Netflix, Google Drive, and Evernote Web. He categorized clouds as private, public, and hybrid. You would own and maintain a private cloud. You “rent” a public cloud from a provider, sharing it with others. A hybrid cloud combines aspects of the private and public clouds.

Clouds offer different kinds of service to users–IT services, platform services, and software services. Giglio went on to explain the differences among these kinds of services with examples. He said that trends point to movement of local, physical equipment and software applications to remote virtual services and beyond to the cloud.

The presentation seemed to be more geared to information technology than to applications specific to instrumentation and automation control technology. You could not expect to actually control from the cloud. Of course such items as application software modules for DCS and PLCs, device type managers, firmware, device drivers, calibration curves, and specification aids can be kept in the cloud for use by automation engineers as needed.


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