Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It’s….The Cloud!



Why, oh why, oh why, has every man and his dog started calling everything Cloud? Cloud Hosting, Cloud Apps, Cloud Services? Is it me, or was it only 6 months ago that these were called Virtual Hosting, Web Apps, Web Services? What's changed? In my eyes, nothing! I hadn't really noticed this until the other day when I was attending a "Cloud" seminar.

Cloud Hosting: What makes it Cloud? It's just Hosting on a Virtualization platform. Cloud Apps: Why are they Cloud Apps? They are just applications hosted over the Web, no? If we follow this trend we'll soon be calling WebMail, CloudMail!

Since I first heard about the concept of Cloud, I've been keeping a close eye on how it would evolve. It was meant to be the "New Black" and I if wanted to keep on the cutting edge of technology, then the Cloud is where it'll be at. Almost 2 years on and I'm still waiting for something to happen. In that time Virtualization has taken massive steps forward with VMware's vSphere Product, but Cloud is still only really in existence as a concept.

I've been regularly attending various Cloud focused seminars in the hope of seeing something special, something magical, something where I can think to myself "Now this is Cloud Computing!". But It hasn't happened yet. You either get techies giving talks on "conceptual" ideas about Apps with elasticity or how to scale databases on demand, or you get Marketing bods trying to flog their Virtualization Platform's as Cloud Platforms.

Internet Cloud

I mean who came up with the idea to use the word Cloud? Who was that person? Is he/she part of the same illusive contingent who decides what is "Politically Correct" and what's not? And why call Cloud, Cloud? Was it simply because it's always been common practice to use a Cloud image to represent "The Internet" on network diagrams? Or was it a scientific based decision as real clouds in the sky expand and contract independently. Or maybe it was based on the fact that scientists have spent many years studying Clouds and probably still don't fully understand how they work. 🙂

With all these question left unanswered, how is it that we've come to have some many Cloud Services/Products available to us? There hasn't even been a set of standards set for Cloud yet. What happens if when the standards are set, the standards are different to what people expecting?

Is Cloud just a Buzzword? Like Bouncebackability? One person makes it up and others jump on the bandwagon and before you know it EVERYONE is talking about it?

Personally I think the Cloud will pass us by. I don't think it will ever come to fruition, a bit like HD DVD, MiniDisc and Chesney Hawkes. Cloud products/services of course will be available but as I mentioned earlier, these won't be anything more than Virtualization Platforms. By the time software developers actually create software that enables fluidity, like Cloud idealists believe there should be, platforms would have moved on even further and combining the two will produce something beyond the Cloud……A form of Utility Computing? I'd Love to know your thoughts.

These are of course are just my views, which I have tried to make without reading other peoples definitions and ideas. I'm not an expert, I'm not going to pretend to be one. I just wanted to share with you some of the thought processes I've had over the past 6 months. As time goes by I'm sure my views will change. Maybe in a years time I'll look back at this post and laugh about what I wrote, maybe I could have hit the nail on the head. Only time will tell.

Here is Kate Craig-Wood's Definition of the Cloud, It makes for an interesting read (Note: Read after time of writing). I think it's really interesting, everyone has such a different view on Cloud and it's definition.