Cloud Computing – Hype vs. Reality


When was the last time you attended a presentation or a webinar that did not have a mention of the “C” word?

Many folks have gone overboard with this – check out the Citrix Cloud Center web page on the Citrix web site. Try reading through the page and see if you get the gist of the Citrix Cloud Center.

All i could get was “cloud proven virtualization and networking products”, “most widely-adopted virtual infrastructure platform for hosted cloud services”, “cloud-proven virtualization platform”, “cloud-scale distributed virtual switch”, “cloud balancing”, and “burstable clouds”. It all went over my head! I counted 33 occurrences of the “cloud” which must be good for search engine optimization but not for me, the (human) reader!!!

It was then refreshing to read a simple, elegant and informative article on Cloud Computing . This article clearly explains how cloud computing is an operations model, not technology. From a monitoring and management solution perspective, of particular interest is this paragraph – “For the most part, cloud computing uses the same management tools, operating systems, middleware, databases, server platforms, network cabling, storage arrays, and so on, that we have come to know and love over the last several decades. Specific technologies, of course, gain significant importance in a cloud computing environment, such as policy-driven automation, metering systems, and self-service provisioning portals. However, all of these technologies–with the possible exception of the self-service portal–existed before cloud computing became a much hyped paradigm.” Be sure to check this article – it’s a good read.

Talking of cloud services, did you know that you can get your own cloud environment in a few mins? Check the free trial that CloudShare is offering . I tried this out last week and was able to have a couple of machines – one with Windows 2008 and SQL 2008 and another with CentOS and MySQL up and running in less than 5 minutes. Now, how long would that take for you to get this setup from your own IT department? Probably, an hour to answer questions about why you need the systems, a day to get the machines, a couple of hours at least to have the software installed, …

This demonstrates the power of cloud computing. Check out the CloudShare beta offering today and experience the cloud first hand.

4 thoughts on “Cloud Computing – Hype vs. Reality

  1. John Worthington March 14, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    I’ve often wondered whether we have our head up in the cloud (or up somewhere else)…I wish more IT marketing energy would be spent on understanding how to properly define services and markets, rather than spinning us into the heavens.

    having spent more then 10 years working with and for Telcos, I am familiar with ‘the cloud’…clients should be demanding cloud transparency, but I doubt they will get it. The reality of clouds is likely to remain the same as it always was….’trust me’.

    clouds are services, and the sooner your IT organization shifts to a service oriented culture the better…

    good piece Srinivas! the best way to look at clouds is by keeping our feet firmly on the ground

  2. Lokesh March 15, 2010 / 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the info..

  3. John Worthington March 19, 2010 / 1:15 am

    still thinking about transparency and saw this quote on Wisdom of Clouds ( http://news.cnet.com/the-wisdom-of-clouds/ ) that kinda stuck with me…

    “The sense I am getting is that adoption of cloud is beginning to outstrip the ability of legal council to evaluate the liabilities that the cloud introduces to enterprise IT”

  4. David Chou March 23, 2010 / 5:30 am

    While typical perception around cloud computing is simply a more advanced form of outsourced managed hosting (e.g., rent someone else’s servers to run your software), there are also new technologies and application models emerging from the hype.

    For example, Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform (http://azure.com) provides an application environment that operates at a higher level of abstraction, instead of simply providing servers with O/S for customers to use. And the “cloud” implementation actually uses some very different techniques to provide a higher level of horizontal scalability and service resiliency.

    This type of “cloud” environment is easy to use, minutes to set up and deploym while abstracting away the underlying complexities in infrastructure. Though of course, legal and data privacy and transparency issues are not any different than our usual concerns.

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