Things Can Fail! Demigod to Demo God

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I was in a conference on Cloud Computing – everybody is talking about this computing model these days. As the conference was organised by a major cloud infrastructure company, the scale and the hype were tremendous. The cool atmosphere inside was a stark contrast to the wet weather outside in Mumbai.

The major attraction for enthusiasts was the bulb that would be lit in a particular pattern remotely with the help of the Cloud. It was a demonstration of IoT (Internet of Things) capability. The speaker, who was running a lab in the corridor, was looking quite excited about the demonstration of such utility. Though the point was rather simple; it was about displaying the great and smart utility that could be achieved with such ease and with almost nil computing infrastructure investment. People were elated; a feeling of being demigod of computing was running in the intangible vein of people throwing a small drone into the air amidst applause and clapping. The atmosphere was charged with ecstasy – the dummy bulb would glow to its full glory on the smartphones among the audience as a drone was making its way from right to left. Nothing happened.

The pleasantly defiant look changed fast into a defensive demeanour; and the gentleman went on explaining how God was not in their favour. The faith in the stability of Internet was wavering; a few front-benchers, who rose from deep slumber after a free buffet lunch, were murmuring and blaming the Mumbai weather. The speaker was struggling hard to convince that the very basis of the Cloud capability, an uninterrupted Internet connectivity, could not be relied upon. He made the second attempt too, and then gave up. Hopefully, nobody would ever want such a lighting system at their home or in their neighbourhood.

The transient path of digital connectivity and associated ecosystem need to be looked into with all seriousness to build a digital world that is real and can be relied upon.

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