My Head's in the Clouds

Posted by: Steve Hamm on April 25, 2008

The term “cloud computing” is being used so promiscuously these days that it’s dizzying. I even ran into a company a few days ago that offers its supply chain software in a hosted model and calls itself a cloud computing company. Yikes! So I decided to try to cut through the marketing fog and see if I could bring some clarity to the matter. Here’s a Socratic I did for BusinessWeek Online. I asked a bunch of the industry’s big thinkers for their take on this, and Marc Andreessen practically wrote a book on the topic for me. He said he’s going to post it on his blog, but I haven’t seen it yet. What do other people think? Is cloud computing the industry’s latest exercise in hype or is there really something new and different going on right now?

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Reader Comments

Balu Sant

April 27, 2008 09:16 PM

When you hear the same darn thing called by different names ( cloud computing aka service oriented architecture aka software as a service aka web services aka edge computing aka...) you know that the domain has too many marketing guys and too few engineers. Marc Andreesen might be the only exception, or perhaps he has evolved into a marketing guy as well

Balu Sant @ http://www.geexoo.com - The Geek Feeds Hub

Pete Smith

May 6, 2008 12:20 PM

I disagree with Balu on this.

I feel the term 'cloud computing' simply references a technological capability and only begins the process by which you evoke an understanding of what it stands for.

Within this then sits all the various off shoots like 'network computing' or 'utility computing' or 'desktops as a service' etc - which are quite different and mean different things to different enablers/users.

For example both salesforce.com and desktopondemand.com offer a version of cloud computing but neither can be classed the same.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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