Content is driving cloud computing's real expansion

Apple TV and Google TV aren't just entertainment options; they also signify cloud computing's growing dependence on media

This week, we tuned in to learn about Apple's newest releases, including an upgrade to Apple TV. It joins the ranks of Google TV, as well as Web content clients from Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube included on many DVRs, DVD players, and high-def TVs. The clear trend is that we'll be consuming a lot more video and audio content over the Internet in the very near future.

All of this content will come from huge, new facilities, such as the monster data center Apple is building in Maiden, NC. The structure, which is nearly five times the size of Apple's data center in Newark, Calif., could not be used as anything other than a huge content server. Apple is making a great deal of money from that iTunes business, and the video and audio has to originate somewhere.

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New content servers are being deployed all the time, but in much more distributed and less obvious ways. Companies such as Apple and Facebook may build data centers so large they get Greenpeace on their trail, but most businesses are taking a different approach to the expansion of content delivery capacity. Google and Microsoft, for example, are establishing servers in various locales.

The cloud's real expansion is centered on content these days, and these emerging cloud computing behemoths will lead the way for other more business-oriented types of applications. As Apple and Google become better at storing and serving up petabytes of video and audio, we can leverage those best practices for business data and applications. Moreover, you can count on these content delivery systems to morph into true cloud computing systems, supporting IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, as the revenue opportunities become more apparent. Many cable companies are already moving in this direction, following the lead of Google and Microsoft.

This article, "Content is driving cloud computing's real expansion," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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