Shining the harsh light on cloudwashing

Shining the harsh light on cloudwashing

Summary: James Staten has been railing about cloudwashing for ages. Now, an award will recognize the most egregious offenders.

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For years I have been railing about cloudwashing -- the efforts by vendors and, more recently, enterprise I&O professionals to give a cloud computing name to their business-as-usual IT services and virtualization efforts. Now a cloud vendor, with tongue somewhat in cheek is taking this rant to the next level.

Appirio, a cloud integration and customization solution provider has created the cloud computing equivalent of the Razzie Awards to recognize and call out those vendors it and its clients see as the most aggregious cloudwashing offenders. The first annual Washies will be announced next Wednesday night atThe Cigar Bar in San Francisco and in true Razzie tradition, the nominees are invited to attend and pick up their dubious honors in person. I'm betting thatLarry Ellison will be otherwise engaged.

While some will be offended to be nominated, the recognition here is meant to be a bit of a roast to those marketing ahead of their capabilities as well as a fun way to help spread market education about what truly is (and is not) cloud computing. It's understandable why the vendors who cloudwash their solutions do it, as the word can get you a meeting with a key customer and that customer at the end of the day may turn out not to need cloud at all and thus end up buying that vendor's traditional IT solution. Same with I&O pros. If calling your virtualized server environment cloud gets executive pressure off so you can better plan a real cloud strategy, mission accomplished. But this practice creates market confusion and can ultimately hurt the offender as their credibility takes a hit in comparison to true cloud efforts. I&O teams that claim private cloud for their VMware environment and aren't delivering self-service, cloud economics or automation, risk losing the trust with their developers who may just turn up their noses at IT and go straight to the public cloud. Try selling them on your true private cloud after that.

As I pointed out in my 2012 cloud computing predictions, the window in which you can get away with cloudwashing, is closing fast. The Washies help close this window by bringing such miscommunications out into the light.

Want to get in on the action? You can place your vote for the winners in five categories between now as Tuesday of next week at http://www.cloudwashies.com. Vote today and come blow a raspberry at the winners at the ceremony.

Topics: Servers, Cloud, Hardware, Virtualization

James Staten

About James Staten

James Staten is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, serving Infrastructure and Operations professionals.

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  • RE: Shining the harsh light on cloudwashing

    "We have cloud already."<br><br>That was a line that I heard our infrastructure manager tell the CIO last year. Of course it was completely bogus, all we had was a virtualized server environment spread out across a couple of datacenters. But there is so much marketing fluff and disinformation out there that it's easy for people to call almost anything "cloud" including mainframes.
    terry flores