Thursday, November 22, 2012

Election 2012, A Case Study For Cloud Computing

There’s a lot of media coverage on the use of cloud computing by this year’s election teams and as a GigaOM article points out:
No matter if you voted for Red or Blue, you have to be impressed by the quick scaling up of systems, including applications, processes, and data to support the massive needs of the campaign.  This included spinning up the instances, operating them during the spikes of use, and spinning them down when not needed.  This is a great case study for the power and value of cloud computing.

For me though, it’s not just the “quick scaling up” but the ability to obtain this amount of computing just when you need it and move your costs to zero when the the campaign is over at a very low cost.  Before cloud computing the expense of deploying an entire data center’s worth of computing to do this would have been prohibitive and if a campaign did have the money to spend, the capability couldn’t be built fast enough.

Another factor that acts as an accelerant to cloud computing in this case  is mobility.  Campaigns had access to developers from all over the world, and built applications that connected candidates, voters and campaign workers via any internet connected device.  

-- Chris Claborne

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