Dell just launched a new blog devoted to cloud computing. There has been a lot of talk in Ed Tech surrounding cloud computing and its ability to replace expensive licensed software and reduce hardware costs with low-power, cheap Internet access devices. Cloud computing continues to mature and I would argue to services like Google Docs provide students with all of the word processing and presentation power they generally need.
Issues abound, including offline access to files, the need for ubiquitous broadband, etc., but, as the Dell blog points out, we certainly seem to be headed down that road.
What this all means is that we're at the beginning stages of a shift from the model of the past where applications and all the content created for them were stored locally. This shift has the potential to increase the types of Internet-connected devices we use to consume and create content (check out the good discussion Scoble has going about the battle for web-based content on mobile phones).
However, the focus of the blog, according to its initial entry, will be more on the server side:
So, what does all this have to do with Dell and the kind of content you can expect to see in the cloud computing blog? These web-based activities require reams of server and storage hardware architected around complex custom networks. As such, these environments differ from traditional server/storage environments. Our DCS team's purpose is to help customers make sense of that complexity—see this PDF, or www.dell.com/cloudcomputing for more context. That's the kind of content you can expect from reading Dell's Cloud Computing blog.
It does make you wonder, though. Will Dell stand by and let ASUS and several other 2nd- and 3rd-tier OEMs crank out slick little machines with "Atom Inside" or can we also expect to see some new devices on the client side that budget-conscious educational institutions can use to exploit the power of the cloud and a new focus on server-centric computing?