‘Cloud Computing’ is now Meaningless??

Most of us live in a connected world using a combination of MMS/SMS messaging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, 24x7 News and Sports, Jive/SharePoint portals and more.  The challenge of living in this paradigm is simply what happens when one has nothing to say? Or, when hard news is scarce?

When it comes to Cloud computing, it seems the news cycle is either feast or famine.  If a major Cloud provider has an outage, then the news is filled with examples of companies that are being affected and the risks associated with this new paradigm.  If all is well, then we regurgitate the past failings of Cloud in hopes that a failure will happen and then you’ll be considered the “expert.”

Frankly, I’m more interested in the latter, but how many top x articles depicting the reasons why Cloud is great vs. how many reasons why Cloud is risky does one have to read in a lifetime?  I question how many of these authors truly understand what is Cloud computing.  Albeit, the name “Cloud Computing” is quite nauseating, the fact is it has staying power unlike its predecessors, grid and/or autonomic computing.

I do understand how if you have been looking at this space for a while you would have trouble dealing with the hype. I am assuming that factored into David Linthicum's latest InfoWorld article where he declared, “It’s official: ‘Cloud Computing’ is now meaningless” over a Gartner hype cycle.  Of course the legacy software and hardware providers of yesterday are going to jump on the Cloud computing bandwagon.  Of course they are going to rename their tired old products with fancy “Cloud” titles.  Of course they are going to run to Gartner and pitch that they are now cloud centric.

But, who cares?  These same legacy software vendors aren’t leading the Cloud IT inflection point and subsequent paradigm shift.  HP, IBM, and Dell were pushed into a new server paradigm thanks to Cisco.  VMware, Xen, and KVM forced a new x86 virtualization paradigm on the entire IT industry.  OpenStack, Puppet Labs, and Opscode are imposing a new automation layer on the entire industry and OpenFlow is seeking do the same for Networking. Zenoss is challenging a management paradigm that remains unchanged for the last 20 years dominated by legacy vendors that want to protect their cherished maintenance revenue streams.

Cloud computing is a movement that is being defined by those that can architect, create, and build services.  They are called developers and their time is now! The revolution is being led by an open source foundation that seeks to utilize the talents of anyone that wants to participate.  It’s being forged on the backs of start-ups like Bromium, Pistion, Puppet, Opscode, Gale, Citrix (Cloud.com), Rackspace (Anso Labs), Nimbus, Nebula, and Eucalyptus.  Thank goodness for the genius of Amazon and Dr. Vogels that created an infrastructure that is the envy of the entire industry.

While the hype gets old fast, don’t say that “the term “cloud computing” has lost most of its meanings and core attributes” as most in this space never liked the term in the first place.  Don’t think that the principals of Cloud computing aren’t real.  That servers are really compute, that hard drives are simply storage, and the name of the game is services.

In the end, if you aren’t a developer (aka contributor) and you’re just a user (consumer) then don't worry about it so much and stick to the easy stuff…like Apple’s iCloud.

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