Leonard Zwelling

“Both Sides Now” is a famous folk song made popular by Judy Collins in the 1960s. The song was written by Joni Mitchell and its original name was “Clouds.” The singer relates the meaning of clouds, love and life and it kick started the career of both women. But cloud has a whole new meaning now.

In the cloud is where my son Andrew lives. He works in the cloud for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the attached is the video he just produced for AWS and its customer Rubicon. I find it fascinating and not just because my son produced it. It shows how the cloud is being employed by Rubicon which services the waste management needs of municipalities (in this case Santa Fe, New Mexico) in making the collection of garbage and recycling operationally efficient, cost effective and carbon footprint neutral. As I understand it, it is the computing power of Amazon Web Services that allows such projects to take flight and part of my son’s job (I think) is to convince more end users and middle level providers to utilize the power of the cloud to provide their customers with better service as well as keep the environment as clean as possible.

I must confess that my understanding of exactly what my son does is less than perfect. After all, any time there is a malfunction in one of the computer systems in our house, we have to “drop a ticket” with him and he talks us through how to fix it. He gets computers. I don’t.

The fascinating thing to me is that there is a whole set of industries out there looking for ways to apply computer power to real life problems and a company like AWS partners with these providers to service the needs of end users like governments and ultimately the public. Who knew?

This also got me to wondering what else AWS can do. I suspect that my son will tell you if you ask. (Contact him at I know he wants to make more of these cinematic productions. He certainly has beaten me to the movie game as he learns to leverage the buying and computing power of AWS to promote what the technology can actually do.

Do take a look (it’s short) and see what Santa Fe has done to minimize the adverse effects of waste, garbage and recyclables on the environment and the quality of life. Like I said above, who knew?

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