Behold the Cloud of Clouds: The Intercloud

Cloud computing is raining metaphors

3 min read
opening illustration for technically speaking
Illustration: Eric Frommelt
Eventually we’ll have the intercloud, the cloud of clouds. This intercloud will have the dimensions of one machine comprised of all servers and attendant cloudbooks on the planet.

Kevin Kelly

When I first wrote about cloud computing way back in 2008 [see IEEE Spectrum, August 2008], there was a gee-whiz aura surrounding this relatively new way of storing our data and provisioning computing resources. Now, more than eight years later, cloud computing is just another humdrum piece of technology. For proof, you need look no further than the latest version of Gartner’s famous Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, which no longer includes an entry for “Cloud Computing,” a sure sign of mainstream acceptance. But network engineers have not been idle—they’ve been busy inventing new subsets of cloud computing. These new subtypes must have new names, of course, and so the lexicon of cloud computing has changed quite a bit over the last eight years.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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