In two posts in the past week, Krishnan has mentioned the recently published Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing. As he mentioned, this report has been the talk of the Cloud community in the past few days, and opinion has been pretty divided as to some of its language and interpretations.
Over on CNet, James Urquhart characterised this nicely;
My cursory, decidedly unscientific survey of ‘cloud-o-sphere’ shows that those deeply involved with cloud computing who read the paper had decidedly mixed feelings about it (myself included), while those simply interested in cutting through the morass of cloud definitions and offerings generally were grateful for its content.
Isn’t this always the way? That brilliant and award-winning TV documentary on a topic about which you are passionate and knowledgeable is always a disappointment, isn’t it, as it (necessarily?) simplifies, generalises, and abstracts the convoluted minutiae of a discipline or market into an hour of ratings-attracting television. Whether we like it or not, white papers of this sort are pretty similar, actually. The indigestible detail and angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin-counting nit-picking of an academic treatise that will be read by three other people in the world is something very different from a useful view on a subject that might actually help to clarify understanding of a fast-moving and often obfuscated emerging market.
To understand more, I spent some time on the phone with two of the paper’s authors this morning, and the result has just been released as a podcast.
During our conversation, both Armando Fox and Dave Patterson were keen to stress that this paper was never intended to be the last word on Cloud Computing. It’s one perspective; one view. It’s not perfect, but nor is anything else that’s been written in this space.
It is useful, though, in offering some definitions for us to argue about, and in cutting through some of the hype and myth to begin telling a story that those outside our little echo chamber might begin to understand, appreciate, and take seriously.
So, to the authors; thank you and well done. To their critics; read the paper (and you can’t comment until you at least do that!), watch the video, listen to the podcast, then come on in and explain how you would have characterised things differently. Join the debate, and help make the story clearer