The Beauty of the Cloud

Here is an older but still very insightful article contributed by Ray DePena

What is cloud computing? What is the difference between a cloud and the internet?  Some Twenty-One Experts Define Cloud Computing differently, and there are even more definitions out there.  Among many that I’ve heard are some of the following:

  • Cloud = Internet
  • Cloud = Innovation
  • Cloud = On Demand
  • Cloud = Autonomic computing
  • Cloud = Distributed computing
  • Cloud = Grid computing
  • Cloud = Hosting
  • Cloud = Multi-tenancy
  • Cloud = SOA
  • Cloud = Utility computing
  • Cloud = Virtualization
  • Cloud = SLA-driven
  • Cloud = SaaS
  • Cloud = PaaS / OPaaS
  • Cloud = IaaS / HaaS
  • Cloud = Just a marketing buzzword
  • Cloud = Applications, Platforms, and Infrastructure delivered as a service

Many also say, “Cloud computing is nothing new.  All of these technologies have existed for quite some time“.  That’s like saying the iPhone is nothing new because all the technologies existed prior to its arrival.  For an innovative company like Apple, it’s great that their competitors lack such imagination, as it leaves the field wide open.

From my perspective, we have not had cloud computing a long time, we’ve had many of the disparate underlying technologies that are now converging to facilitate what is generally referred to as cloud computing.

Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO, does an amusing bit on YouTube on the definition of cloud computing.  He calls it nonsense, gibberish, encompassing everything we do today, and generally referring to those that use the term insane, crazy. To some degree, Larry is right.  The technologies have been around for some time.  In fact, in 2003 I worked with a team to create this piece for IBM.  Recognize some of those technologies?  And you can even go further back, much further.

Think of it this way.  Virtualization was around many years ago, on the mainframe, and over time it made its way out of the mainframe, but it was of limited benefit for SME.  On Demand, Autonomic, Distributed, Grid, Utility, Hosting, have also been around for a while.

While all these technologies have been relevant to large enterprises, they remained largely inaccessible for small and medium businesses to leverage due to cost, complexity, and lack of in house IT skills to implement such technologies (with perhaps some exceptions like free hosting).  Generally, the costs outweighed any benefit as small enterprises didn’t have the necessary scale to leverage these technologies.

Cloud computing (the convergence of many of these pre-existing technologies), through its service providers, makes these technologies accessible to small and medium business in a simple, cost effective manner, without the need to have a deep understanding of these technologies.  So how is this distinguishable from the Internet?

If you ask lay people to describe the Internet as best as they can, they’ll likely mention Google (though probably not the app engine), Amazon (though probably not AWS), YouTube, Yahoo, eBay, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, etc. – mainly consumer services.  In short, B2C (or C2C / peer to peer) applications, or if you prefer, Consumer Service Provider to consumer – whether transactional as in Amazon and eBay, or ad supported as in Google, Yahoo, etc. the focus is consumers.

When it comes to Cloud computing, I tend to view it through the lens of business and technology.  So, I may think of it as an, “IP enabled, scalable, virtualized, multi-tenant, subscription based (or “pay as you”), B2B, service delivery method for business software applications, platform development, and adaptive infrastructure“. i.e. (SaaS based applications, PaaS based development, IaaS based infrastructure) .

Though for non-IT SMB clients I would simply describe it as, “A subscription based, B2B Internet service delivery method for [business] applications“.  Yes, that leaves a lot out, but the clients are not interested in the technology – just in what it can do for them.  The rest, like the iPhone, they take for granted – scalability, real-time, on demand, etc.

When we talk about an iPhone, we don’t describe it in terms of technology.  We don’t refer to it as a subscription based,IP and application enabled, cellular capable, real-time, multi-service, communications device.  That’s the beauty of Apple, always abstracting the complexity of the underlying technology, and therein lies the beauty of the cloud.

-Tune The Future-

By Ray DePena

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Advertising Programs

Click To Find Out!

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts

CloudTweaks has enjoyed a great relationship with many businesses, influencers and readers over the years, and it is one that we are interested in continuing. When we meet up with prospective clients, our intent is to establish a more solid relationship in which our clients invest in a campaign that consists of a number of

Popular

Top Viral Impact

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

Engine Yard Joins North Bridge Venture Partners, Gigaom Research and Industry Collaborators to Unveil 2014 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Results SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 25, 2014) – Engine Yard, the leading cloud application management platform, today announced its role as a collaborator in releasing the results of the fourth annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey,

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving