Standing on the side lines and watching vendors and hosting providers scramble around putting together their own respective packages (and interpretations) around a Cloud infrastructure has, and continues to be an interesting spectacle.
As you are most likely also seeing the interpretation of what constitutes Cloud Computing is still really up for debate and for a clearly defined set of standards to emerge.
From my rather limited knowledge in anything ‘Cloud’, so far the only really tangible offering I see is by Amazon via their ‘Elastic Compute Cloud’ EC2 though Google and Microsoft are hot on their heels.
But hang on!
If Gartner’s (similar to others) definition of Cloud Computing (ie: “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.”) is to be followed/believed hasn’t Microsoft been offering some sort of ‘Cloud’ service in the form of HotMail since 1997? This also being true of Google with their GMail email service along with Google Apps.
Maybe this is so though in which case what differentiates these long standing Cloud(?) services from the modern day computing Cloud that has started building momentum in the last year or two? Maybe nothing? Maybe something? (thoughts and comments welcome) 🙂
So are the current definitions and standards(if any?) just fluffy edges of the ‘Cloud’ (sorry couldn’t resist) potentially being a hindrance to achieving a common focus and set of standards by which vendors and hosting providers can begin to develop their Cloud based offerings? Or should maybe the Cloud be left to find its own commonly followed set of standards – though would this potentially mean a period of conflicting standards between the main Cloud players (ie: Google, Amazon, VMware, Microsoft, etc) that would hinder any integration of Cloud based services across multiple hosting providers?
There have been some great blog postings and associated comments recently from the likes of Simon over at vinf.net, Rodney Haywood and Sam Johnston which attempt to put some form around what makes up a Cloud computing architecture – be sure to check these out. Scott Lowe is also an advocate for the necessity of some form of standards around Cloud architecture – as always check out his blog here.
To end off the posting I thought I’d leave you with a great little video that I found on YouTube that I feel clearly outlines, from a high level perspective, what Cloud Computing is all about. A good one to show a customer or CEO wanting to know more about the ‘Cloud’.
Anyway. these are just my thoughts and observations from my position on the sideline. As always I welcome any thoughts or comments. 🙂
Good Cloud Blogs to follow (please let me know if you recommend any others and I’ll add them to the list):