Mark Minasi's popular "Cloud Computing:  A Lapsed Economist's View" talk, now available in audio CD format


Mark Minasi here

In early 2008, I started hearing about a notion called "cloud computing," and of almost everyone reading this has heard of it, as well.  If, however, you're still fuzzy on what it is, however, here's my take on a technical definition:

Before the cloud, you buy, set up, and manage servers running services like SharePoint, e-mail, file and print servers and the like.  Your clients (employees of the same organization as the one that employs you, usually) access those services over wires and wireless connections that you installed (with routers, switches etc) to allow their desktop computers to communicate with your servers.

After the cloud, you access those same services on servers that you don't own -- the cloud vendor does -- and you access those services over the Internet, often through a Web browser.  The cloud vendor then charges you by the second for the memory, CPU, and bandwidth that you use.

That's a little lengthy, though, so another, shorter definition of cloud computing soon occurred to me.  I think it's just as accurate:

A new way to outsource IT.

What bothered me about the whole thing was what I was hearing about cloud computing.  It seemed that every cloud-related presentation that I sat through went something like "there's three kinds of clouds, here's what they all do, gosharootie are they all pretty neat but the one offered by the people who pay me is the best."  The cloud is, I think, a good idea --sometimes a very good idea -- for some services in some organizations, but an extremely bad one for others.  Furthermore, it seemed that no one out there was presenting both sides of the issue.  So, to help my readers understand a bit more about clouds and to help them better answer the question, "is the cloud right for us?," I researched and wrote a keynote talk on the subject.  I've delivered it dozens of times and in several countries to very good reception, and many people have asked that I record it so that anyone still on the fence about The Cloud might use the talk's concepts to simplify their should-we-use-the-cloud decisions.

So if you've not been able to attend this talk in person, or attended it and couldn't absorb all of what I covered, you can now pick the talk up on a pair of audio CDs for US$24.95.  (Another reason to pick up this talk even if you've heard me present it is that not having the usual 75-minute limit meant that I could go into more detail -- think of this as the "7 minute FM version" of the cloud talk.)

As always, the talk's driven by some PowerPoint slides, although I've worked hard to ensure that you needn't actually look at the PowerPoint slides while listening in order to learn, so that you can listen while driving or exercising.  One of the audio CDs is actually a mixed-mode CD that includes a printable PDF file of those PowerPoint slides.  This CD's price includes shipping to anywhere in the US.

I hope you'll choose to pick up a copy of this presentation.  I've tried to make learning about tuning easy to follow, informative, and a bit of fun.

Buying "Cloud Computing:  A Lapsed Economist's View"

You can get your copy of the Cloud Computing audio CDs for $24.95, shipping included.  Click here to buy my audio CD "Cloud Computing:  A Lapsed Economist's View" if shipping to a US address.  (Outside of the US, please see below.)  Again, the CDs include the accompanying PowerPoint slides as PDF files.

To deliver outside of the US:

After a lot of research, we've seen that the most cost-effective way to ship things out of the US is to just send it via international mail.  That means that you're responsible for duty and taxes when the CDs get to your country.  Apologies, but we have to charge more for the extra handling and mail costs.  Your price to purchase "Cloud Computing:  A Lapsed Economist's View" is US$35.

Click here to purchase "Cloud Computing:  A Lapsed Economist's View" for delivery outside of the US.

Thanks very much for your support.  If you decide to get a copy, please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.