The Dark Side of Cloud Computing Branding
The promises of a better IT world being spouted by Cloud Computing are often followed by a shadow that is trying to brand all of its claims as lies and marketing propaganda made by service vendors in order to make more profit. When something is claimed to be the end-all-be-all of computing, a lot of people will undoubtedly be pushing on the opposite side of that claim.
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The claim is that Cloud Computing is a myth, a fabrication by marketing experts in order to sell services or software again to the people who already own them. They are saying that Cloud Computing is only a rebrand of already available technology we know as data centers, enterprise computing, and the internet itself, or rather through the internet. It is supposedly just a jumble of words like Software as a service, utility computing, virtualization and the World Wide Web. It’s actually just confusing, and it was apparently meant that in order to sell because supposedly if people cannot understand it, then it must simply be too advanced and above their understanding; people will eat it up.
Cloud Computing is just a combination of technical and economic trends that have been around for more than a decade now, an old and rundown car with a new paint job. That statement is a blow to what Cloud Computing certainly stands for, which is a fresh and a new take, a new paradigm in the usage of computing resource which enables everybody to take part in seemingly infinite computing power affordably. And this dark view is sadly backed by Private Cloud providers knowingly or unwittingly.
Since real cloud providers are enjoying economies of scale allowing them to set prices really low because of a massive user-base, other companies are trying to take their own slice of the pie through some subterfuge and sleek marketing. These companies are highlighting all the flaws and issues of Cloud Computing and making big deals out of them, blowing them out of proportion in order to sell their Private Clouds. This is one of the reasons that Cloud Computing is getting a lot of chaff from many experts.
What happens when a customer vies into a Private Cloud is that he is buying or renting hardware that is powerful enough to accommodate the largest usage spikes within their network, set up the hardware and software infrastructure in the same way as a Public Cloud and then allowing only those with access to their private network into their own Private Cloud. True that it might be, in all technicality and definition, an implementation of Cloud Computing, but the essence of it is lost. And this essence which speaks of affordability and elasticity/flexibility and its on-demand nature is truly what Cloud Computing means. Companies getting into Private Cloud are the ones buying that old car which looks and smells new. As I mentioned many times before, we have a term for this kind of Implementation – Data Center.
There may be a lot who will disagree about this, but this view is a reality and is just as valid as any. If it is not public if it is not on-demand, if it does not show flexibility or elasticity through dynamic provisioning, if it is not affordable, then it is not Cloud Computing.
By Abdul Salam
He has recently co-authored: Deploying and Managing a Cloud Infrastructure: Real-World Skills for the CompTIA Cloud+ Certification (Wiley).