Is Cloud Computing A Lunch Break Creation?

Is Cloud Computing a Lunch Break Creation?

There have been allegations that “cloud computing” is just a marketing term, with the underlying principles and technologies having long existed. Personally speaking, while I do believe that a lot of cloud computing as it exists today did exist before Ramnath Chellappa used the term in a 1997 lecture (See: A History of Cloud Computing), there’s a lot that is different from earlier grid computing and utility computing paradigms (See: Cloud Computing vs Utility Computing vs Grid Computing: Sorting The Differences). Therefore, it may come as a surprise that a recent report cited the term as the brainchild of an Amazon employee with no technological basis whatsoever.

However, a closer inspection of the date of publication – April 1 – reveals the nature of the report (See: Cloud Computing Revealed as a Hoax). Long-time readers of this blog are no strangers to the April Fools’ Day article, having been subjected to one written by me last year Cloud Computing without the Internet – Is It Possible?).

In the article, Amazon junior marketing associate on the Kindle team Shawna Bogan is quoted as having coined the term during a lunch break. “We were all just sitting around in the break room, trying to figure out how to explain that all of Amazon’s Kindle titles were stored on a PC under my desk. I suddenly realized that, since no one would actually see my PC, the files could be anywhere – even up in the sky. People must think all this stuff is stored securely on massive servers somewhere. I think it’s time people knew the truth. I’m sure this is the same way all these new companies are doing it, too,” she is quoted as saying.

The report then goes on to say that different cloud computing companies have “to buying into the hoax and propagating it with their own offerings.” Some industry leaders, both fictional and real, are quoted. “We knew we could never afford to compete if we took the time and expense to actually construct real, massive data centers. And why bother when we could do it all with in-house hard drives? But we thought we were the only ones doing it that way. I’m not sure how I feel to learn that we hadn’t really found a loophole after all,” Beezil Shoshugani of RackSaaS is quoted as saying. Needless to say, both “RackSaaS” and “Beezil Shoshugani” are figments of the authors’ imaginations, although the allusion to Rackspace is evident.

Perhaps the most humorous comment is attributed to the very real and non-imaginary Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “I knew it! I knew it! The whole idea was stupid from the start! First they get me dancing around in YouTube videos like a giant sweating monkey, and now this,” he is quoted as saying. The YouTube reference is clearly related to this (See: Steve Ballmer going crazy). You should read the article in its entirety and see if you can come up with more cultural references.

Amidst all the seriousness in our lives, it’s nice to have the occasional touch of humor. At CloudTweaks, we aim to do just that with David Fletcher’s inimitable Lighter Side of the Cloud series).

By Sourya Biswas

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