3 or 4 years ago when he started promoting the concept. He thinks the
Cloud term makes it much easier to “get” for the average business.
The next thing was this post on ReadWriteCloud with WordPress.com founder Matt Mullenweg
suggesting the Cloud is marketing speak. Matt was explaining how a
recent outage in their service occurred. Alex William’s wrote in the
“The cloud gets blamed for almost any online outage these
days. It used to be that we’d just say the service went down and there
was a failure at the host or the data center. Sure enough, the
Wordpress.com outage is not a cloud disaster. Instead, it’s what
happens when failover does not work in a data center.”
He went on to ask Matt if WordPress.com is hosted through
a traditional data centre or if it is on a grid, and so would that
qualify it as a cloud computing environment? Mat’s response was:
“That’s a silly question, like asking whether Facebook is a
cloud computing environment. Most ‘clouds’ besides Amazon’s are just
marketing BS. WordPress.com is a collection of many physical servers
across multiple datacenters to create a scalable, resilient environment
for our customers. You could call it a grid, or cloud, we just call it
Alex’s question is the problem. It reminded me of the debate on terminology we had between vendors at the very first EuroCloud UK meeting. It reminded me of last year’s Cloud Computing World Forum,
where almost every vendor pitch on the day started with a definition of
the Cloud to make sure their particular solution was in “the cloud
club”. It reminded me of the January 2009 research paper by Luis M.
Vaquero, Luis Rodero-Merino , Juan Caceres, and Maik Lindner called “A Break in the Clouds: Towards a Cloud Definition” which listed 22 different definitions, that was picked up by the likes of McKinsey last year. By the way, this year’s Cloud Computing World Forum will make sure it avoids this definition debate by making sure no one prefaces their pitch with explanation number 23 or 24.
Of course the Cloud term gets caught up in marketing BS. The industry
and the average CIO needs to spend less time worrying about definitions
and terminology and more about business benefits and use cases. Sadly,
we technology vendors and advisors have been prone to that problem for
every evolution I’ve lived through over the last 30 years (and
before). I’ve fallen in to the trap many times too – 4 or 5 years back
I was arguing about, 1 to many, “pureplay” Software as a Service
solutions compared to webified client/server apps that were being
hosted somewhere and accessed through a browser (and completely
forgetting that my company motto is think Business, not Technology). I
better hang my head in shame.
However, I go back to the experience Philip is seeing with his clients,
and what I see with the business people I talk to, and what Matt means
when he says “we just call it service”
– the Cloud term simplifies things and collects together a
comprehensive set of technologies in to a sensible package, so we can
move on and focus on the value it delivers.
(Cross-posted @ Business Two Zero )