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Report on Southern Area Meeting, Tuesday 5th August 2014, Winchester

A good number of us met at the Royal Oak in Winchester, in what is believed to be the oldest bar in the country, to hear Yuri Kolber talk about life in the cloud, and why the cloud matters to technical communicators.

He explained the different kinds of cloud available, ranging from IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service, where the cloud provider makes the servers available, and you do the rest), through PaaS (Platform as a Service, where the provider also provides and maintains the operating system) to SaaS (Software as a Service, where hosted software applications are also supplied, and you only need to add the users and the data).

I was fascinated to learn that some large cloud data centres have over 1 million servers, cover an area the size of a football field, and that 20,000 servers can be located in a big metal box the size of a shipping container, because each server is just a card in an array of servers.

The number of connected devices has now exceeded the number of people in the world, and with the Internet of Things well under way, the cloud is here to stay. Apparently, Yuri is looking forward to a day when the cloud can offer FCaaS (Frozen Custard as a Service) too.

Yuri’s slides are here, if you would like to know more.