Cloud Computing is the latest, hottest new buzzword in today’s information technology world. However, and much like other buzzwords such as Web x.0, it seems to be losing whatever meaning it once had as an increasing number of companies, not wanting to miss out on the latest hype, are starting to use it for their product’s PR campaigns.
The “Cloud” has been a metaphor for the internet for probably as long as it existed (according to Wikipedia it even has older roots as it has been used before to refer to large networks such as ATM networks). Amazon’s launch of its Elastic Compute Cloud service (EC2), allowing people and companies to run application’s on Amazon’s servers, brought “Cloud Computing” to mainstream use and soon after, companies like IBM and Google started using it to describe their own efforts for providing online services running on vast data processing farms.
Envious of missing out on the latest computing trend, other companies soon found their way into the cloud computing brand. Hardware manufacturer’s who’s hardware is used to build these huge server farms, like Dell, started using the term to describe their hardware. Virtualization companies, who’s software enable leasing computer power, are using it. Online application are using the term too as they store information online. And the list goes on and on…
If there’s anyone who accurately describe the latest cloud hype its Larry Ellison.
Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld, he stated that the computer industry is more fashion-driven than women's fashion and that cloud computing is simply the latest fashion. The Wall Street Journal quoted his remarks:
“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?“
We’ll make cloud computing announcements. I’m not going to fight this thing. But I don’t understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing other than change the wording of some of our ads. That’s my view.”
Just like the general term Web 2.0 was later refined to a more descriptive form of The Social Web Maybe Cloud Computing need some refinement too?
After all, if we can’t accurately define it, how can we build an industry around it?
- Anshu Sharma suggests, in an hilarious post, that Larry's cloud rant is actually aimed at Oracle's own set of Fusion Application.
- Oracle's Ellison nails cloud computing (Dan Farber/Outside the Lines)
- Larry Ellison's Brilliant Anti-Cloud Computing Rant (Ben Worthen/Business Technology)
- When Harry met Larry (Vinnie Mirchandani/Deal Architect)
- Absolut Fusion? (Vinnie Mirchandani/Deal Architect)
Whistles Past the (Cloud) Graveyard