Cloud computing: A look at the myths

Cloud computing: A look at the myths

Summary: Is there anyone not in the cloud? Cloud computing is the buzzword du jour and everyone--Google, Salesforce.

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TOPICS: Cloud
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Is there anyone not in the cloud? Cloud computing is the buzzword du jour and everyone--Google, Salesforce.com, Microsoft and Amazon--is trying to get into the act. The problem: It will be another year--2009--before companies use cloud computing services extensively. In the meantime, folks will have to define and sort out a lot of mumbo jumbo about the cloud.

Those are the takeaways from a presentation by Gartner analysts Daryl Plummer and Thomas Bittman at the Gartner Emerging Technologies conference in Las Vegas. Plummer acknowledged that there are a lot of unknowns about cloud computing. "There's a lot of evolution we need to see," said Plummer.

Another takeaway: There was a room full of IT managers looking for some sort of definition about cloud computing. There's a good reason for that: Cloud computing is still academic to corporations.

Cloud computing is largely misunderstood, but it's a big deal. In fact, the cloud is as big as the e-business revolution. It'll take some time to sort out as every tech vendor uses the term "cloud" in marketing material. In fact, Plummer noted that corporations using cloud computing won't be the norm for about five years.

And if that weren't enough there are more than a few misunderstandings about cloud computing. Plummer and Bittman compiled a handy slide of myths. "Myths are rampant in the IT industry. Cloud computing is no different. Anyone looking at the cloud will see more myths than he or she can name," the analysts said.

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So what is the definition? According to Gartner cloud computing is "a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided 'as a service' across the Internet to multiple external customers."

In English, that definition means the cloud should just deliver a service on a subscription basis, allow access from anywhere and provide economies of scale. Plummer also dispelled the notion that there will be just a few big cloud computing vendors. In fact, the cloud will go cross vendor and feature shared resources.

Also see: Cloud computing hasn’t gone Fortune 500 yet, but it’s coming

Is the cloud really the next big thing? You bet:

  • By 2012, 80 percent of Fortune 1000 enterprises will pay for some cloud computing service and 30 percent of them will pay for cloud computing infrastructure.
  • Through 2010, more than 80 percent of enterprise use of cloud computing will be devoted to very large data queries, short-term massively parallel workloads, or IT use by startups with little to no IT infrastructure.

But cloud computing isn't a cure all. In fact, there will be many things that won't go into the cloud. A look at some of the drawbacks:

cloud1.png

Bottom line: There's a lot of work to do. For now, the best course is to plan for cloud computing and beware of marketing speak.

Topic: Cloud

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29 comments
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  • ...

    Sounds like another money making scam. A way to bilk billions out of corporations and companies that eventually will not be able to meet their quarterly predictions and then lay-off a portion of their work force to make up for the poor management of funds... things like... cloud computing! ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Yes, a scam.

      People need topics for speeches and the Next Big Thing fills time. Other people need wish fulfillment and "Microsoft fails" is a dream. Still others are looking for a sales point that might persuade potential buyers that what they have isn't good enough, and the cloud is an aetherial enough concept that a feeling can be sold.

      Money for words. And when the words are unproductive, people actually accomplishing do often suffer. You're right.
      Anton Philidor
      • Every Year a new Buzzword

        2002 Linux
        2003 Open Source
        2004 Blade Servers
        2005 Grid Computing
        2006 Virtualization
        2007 Software as a Service
        2008 Cloud Computing

        This is just a list of words that were buzzing associated with their relative year. This isn't a definitive or specific or even exact list, just what I remember and how I remember so don't hold me to any specific fact or figure of when or what was popular, this has been a long 7 years and yet I still have much to learn.
        nucrash
  • The clould will more expand, than disrupt computing

    I expect many companies will move their customer facing operations to the cloud. However, most companies will keep their internal IT, internal ??? for privacy, reliability, accountability, and other reasons. E.g. I don???t expect you will see MS moving its Windows projects to Amazon???s or its own cloud servers. Apart from major data centers from MS, Google, Amazon, and others, we will see services originating out of a range of servers from companies of all sorts, and individuals.

    I believe there will be an expansion of computing both on the server end and on the client end (PCs, smart phones, and an array of client devices or MIDs). However, regarding the notion that all (or even most) computing will be moving to the cloud: that is just not going to happen.
    P. Douglas
    • Mini clouds

      I can see that corps will end up with their own mini-clouds ...
      fr0thy2
  • "Cloud computing": more a phrase then reality

    I just do not see "the cloud". I hear about it, yet still the cloud does not exist.

    What is "cloud computing" beyond some catchphrase that someone coined?

    "This is cloud computing; No this is; no that isn't really, but mine is; here is real cloud computing; no it's not real, this one is...ect"

    The phrase is real, the concept is not.
    John Zern
    • What Clouds and Cloud Computing have in Common

      What Clouds and Cloud Computing have in Common...


      They are both made up of Vapor ;)
      nucrash
    • "Windows 7": more a phrase then reality

      I just do not see "Windows 7". I hear about it, yet still Windows 7 does not exist.

      What is "Windows 7" beyond some catchphrase that someone coined?

      "This is Windows 7; No this is; no that isn't really, but this is; here is real Windows 7; no it's not real, this one is...ect"

      The phrase is real, the software is not.
      fr0thy2
    • "Cloud Computing" may be a handwave, or not.

      That's in the "And then a Miracle Occurs" sense from the old cartoon. CC sounds more like the old time sharing paradigm from back in the 70s, before personal computers took over. That worked like: "Send your program and your data to our very large computer that we charge a lot for per second, and we'll send back the results, and we'll charge a lot for that too."

      I'll guess that any working "clouds" are really Beowulf clusters (loosely connected network of parallel PCs designed to calculate hard problems using divide and conquer techniques) that someone actually has working the way they were supposed to 15 years ago.
      gypkap@...
  • Clouds bring one thing... rain.

    For the enterprise, it will never happen. Just like SOA, it has no place for companies serious about being secure and profitable.

    By the way Larry, after reading most of your blogs, I don't think you are in touch with the realities of IT for the business world. Cloud computing and SOA seem to be your favorite subjects. Neither have any real lasting substance.
    bjbrock
    • I miss George too..

      It will be alright though. Hopefully he will get a job some where else and we will be able to harrass him there.
      nucrash
  • My opinion

    Some sort of cloud computing may be in the future, but there are some things that concern me:

    -Privacy. Who else can see it? Do you sell any data? Why or why not? Can I control the privacy of my data? What happens during a merger?

    -Security. Is the data secure? Encrypted? Are the servers protected physically? Are the encryption protocols well known to be secure? Is encryption implemented properly?

    -Trust. Who manages this data, and why should I trust them? How do I know an employee won't steal my data? Why should I trust your company at all?

    -Offline use. What happens if the connection to the internet is broken? What happens when I'm on an airplane with a laptop? What happens if I'm in a third world company? What happens if some equipment breaks?

    I think the biggest myth is that this is a good idea . . .

    I really only need to access my documents on my laptop. I don't need or want to be able to access them from anywhere.
    CobraA1
    • Also ...

      Some sort of Windows may be in the future, but there are some things that concern me:

      -Privacy. Who else can see it? Do you sell any data? Why or why not? Can I control the privacy of my data? What happens during a merger?

      -Security. Is the data secure? Encrypted? Are the servers protected physically? Are the encryption protocols well known to be secure? Is encryption implemented properly?

      -Trust. Who manages this data, and why should I trust them? How do I know an employee won't steal my data? Why should I trust your company at all?

      -Offline use. What happens if the connection to the internet is broken? What happens when I'm on an airplane with a laptop? What happens if I'm in a third world company? What happens if some equipment breaks?

      I think the biggest myth is that this is a good idea . . .

      I really only need to access my documents on my laptop.
      fr0thy2
    • Happy with a laptop?

      "I really only need to access my documents on my laptop. I don't need or want to be able to access them from anywhere."

      Keep everything in your laptop and guard it with your life. Make sure airport security doesn't harass it too much, that someone in a third world country doesn't
      see your equipment as an alternate source of income.

      Welcome in the 21st century CobraA1. You probably find living on a deserted island the ideal way of living your life. Good thing that such a place doesn't has internet.
      Peter. Bodifee
  • RE: Cloud computing: A look at the myths

    Probably another technology boondoggle or scam. These IT Vendors are looking for ways to generate new revenue streams.

    The Cloud does not even have to be real. Even so they will want to charge you for it
    X41
    • Also ...

      Windows XXX

      Probably another technology boondoggle or scam. This IT Vendor is looking for ways to generate new revenue streams.

      The OS does not even have to work. Even so they will want to charge you for it
      fr0thy2
  • Liability

    Many companies will avoid the cloud completely, and even among those who do use "the cloud", many will take steps to keep specific types of information from being processed there. This includes HR, medical records, accounting/finance, and any trade-secret-related file data.

    Why? Thank the lawyers. The attorneys who will sue the hell out of any company who has a single security breach or otherwise-outlawed event due to regulations from the SEC/FINRA, or due to regulations such as HIPAA.

    Additionally unanswered are security specifications so that companies could even begin to plan for cloud computing. Such a lack of standards or documentation might make it seem exciting, like the wild west, to some. However, it is sure to cost early adopters lots of cash and create an opportunity for some to cash in on the lack of documentation.

    Before I would ever process a single byte of my business data via "the cloud", I would make sure that I have an ironclad contract that protects me from liabilities arising from it and defines who is explicitly responsible for one or more events which may arise from computing on the cloud.

    Of course, this means lawyers make more money as well. Funny - and sad - how that always seems to happen with innovations.
    srobtjones@...
  • clouds

    Is this the same cloud where companies promise "to treat your data like it was our data" and don't accept any liability for failure or illegal access???
    mswift@...
    • Also ...

      Would you go with the Microsoft cloud/mesh, the company that "treated your computer like it was their computer" and didn't accept any liability for failure or illegal access???
      fr0thy2
  • Cloud computing or, how to risk everything.

    Cloud computing may be ok for someone to type out a grocery list but anyone that plays "bet the company" on it is a fool.
    No_Ax_to_Grind