Cloud pretenders

Chee Sing Chan
17 Jun 2010

Little doubt that there’s already plenty being said about cloud computing. But among the ongoing stream of debate on definitions, on how it will work and how it won’t work, the most glaring gripe for us in the media is how every technology vendor claims to offer a piece of the cloud.

Let’s get this clear, cloud computing – in the sense of cloud-based services – promises to provide a real-time pay-as-you-go computing resource via the web for consumers and businesses. It’s the utility computing dream made reality today. We can request servers and storage on-demand via the web, we can consume applications and leverage online platforms in an on-demand fashion. And there are companies that do this today.

Cloud computing is real and it will be leveraged today and tomorrow by businesses that find the right use for it – it’s not for everything. And all this without adding any hardware, software or in most cases any new IT resource to support this.

So the question many want an answer to, myself included, is what exactly are the usual suspects – IBM, HP, Cisco, EMC – all saying when they claim to be putting a company on the path to cloud computing.

So far I don’t see any real cloud services from these providers. Certainly not in the strict sense of being able to put in a request for a server, storage rack or networking performance and have that provisioned immediately and pay for only the amount requested. If this is available, then the vendors are not communicating this very well.

What I, and I’m sure most businesses see, is that these guys are all promising to build your own cloud for you. They have all the pieces to help you build a data center like Google or Amazon.

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