Saturday, May 14, 2011

Of Clouds and the PS3

No doubt you’ve heard of the cloud.  It’s this nebulous new “old” thing that excites people both positively and negatively.  In the realm of CAD, it has been the subject of much controversy.  A few folks have mentioned that if CAD looked to the advances in gaming over the past few years, a cloud based CAD system could work really well. Others point out you are increasing your failure risk as you are involving a whole host of new dependencies to make it work. Technical feasibility is one thing, practicality is totally another.

I’d like to point out a recent example based on gaming and the cloud that really exemplifies the risk of this potential new frontier in CAD… The PlayStation Network!  The PlayStation Network (PSN) is a cloud ran by Sony that allows PlayStation gaming consoles to connect to online gaming, stores, and other services.  On April 20th, Sony pulled the plug on the PSN due to a security breach by some hackers.  The hackers also made off with tons of personal account information.  Sony has not restored service as of May 14th as I’m writing this.  What’s better yet, evidence suggests that the hackers rented time on Amazon’s cloud servers to perform the breach.  I’m pretty patient on such things, after all I’m not paying for access to the PSN, but I do pay for Netflix on-line video streaming through my PS3 that is no longer working and I also have a couple hundred dollars in games of which are useless with out the PSN.

I guess the moral of this story is this:  While CAD on the cloud may be technically feasible and can provide some tangible benefits, is it practical for you to go without your CAD system for a month or better when they system is down due to a breach or other unforeseen issue?  Is the gaming industry a shining example?

My answer, and I’m guessing yours as well is: “HELL NO!”.