Impact of Cultural Differences on the Cloud Computing Ecosystems in the USA and China

Impact of Cultural Differences on the Cloud Computing Ecosystems in the USA and China

Yushi Shen (Microsoft Corporation, USA), Jie Yang (Microsoft Corporation, USA) and Tayfun Keskin (University of Washington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4801-2.ch014
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Abstract

The IT industry is both fundamental and strategic to a nation’s economy. It continues to play a critical role in the industry’s upgrade and economic development in the foreseeable future. The future of the IT industry lies in cloud computing. In the recent years, many countries in the world are responding to cloud computing with much enthusiasm. The USA, Japan, and European countries have created strategies to develop cloud computing, aiming to become the leader of the new era. The Chinese government also sees cloud computing as a historic opportunity to rebuild competitive advantages and leapfrog Western countries. Against this backdrop, this chapter compares and contrasts the evolution of IT towards cloud computing between China and the Western countries, especially the USA.
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Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources, e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services, which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management efforts or service provider interactions (Mell, 2011).

The conception of cloud computing dates back to 1961, when John McCarthy, an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist, in a public speech celebrating MIT's centennial, suggested that “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” A Canadian technologist and former research minister, as well as the author of several publications, Douglas Parkhill in his 1966 book: The Challenge of the Computer Utility, has thoroughly explored almost all the modern-day characteristics of cloud computing: elastic provision, provided as a utility, online and illusion of infinite supply, where he has made the comparisons to the electricity industry, the use of public, private, government, and community forms.

Despite its early conceptualization, cloud computing has not reached the critical mass until recently. The bursting of the dot com bubble, at the turn of the millennium, has introduced two important changes: first, significant increase of the Internet’s bandwidth making broadband commonplace; secondly, the boom of commercial and consumer applications based on the Internet, which has created further demand.

After the bursting of the bubble, Amazon has played a key role in the development of cloud computing by modernizing their data centers. Amazon has been using as little as 10% of their capacity at any given time, just to leave room for occasional spikes similar to other IT companies. The discovery of the new architecture, which we call the cloud, results in significant internal efficiency improvements. Amazon has begun to provide cloud computing services to external customers, and thus launching the Amazon Web Service (AWS), on the basis of utility computing in 2006.

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