I Am All for the Cloud, But Let’s Not Make It A Buzz Word

By Daniel Scocco

You probably already heard about “the cloud,” right? The cloud is nothing more than the Internet, and cloud-computing is Internet-based computing. Under a cloud-computing model, the resources, software and information will be provided to your personal computer on-demand, via the Internet. Instead of running Word or Excel as desktop applications, for example, you would use Google Docs to create and edit your documents.

Some people believe that could-computing is the future, and that is will revolutionize many segments. Others are more skeptical about it, saying that problems might arise if cloud-computing becomes the standard (e.g., security problems, bandwidth bottlenecks and so on).

I sit with the pro-cloud camp. In fact many applications you use today are already examples of cloud-computing (e.g., Gmail, Google Docs, Amazon S3, Meebo).

That being said, I believe that some people are using the “cloud” term out of context. For example, many hosting companies started offering “Cloud Hosting” services. I mean, any kind of web hosting you purchase will already be in the cloud, since it will be accessible remotely from any computer. The only non-cloud kind of hosting I can imagine is if you decide to create a web server in your basement!

By reading the sales page of those companies you conclude that the main characteristic of “cloud hosting” is that you start with a basic configuration, and then you can scale it up as necessary. Well, if I am not wrong this feature has been available for years, and it is called “grid hosting.”

In fact here is the description of the “grid hosting” service offered by a popular company:

Easily handle traffic spikes with the power of hundreds of servers behind your site.

And here is the description of the “cloud hosting” service provided by another popular company:

If your site or application has big fluctuations in traffic or computing power needs — seasonal spikes around the holidays, for example — you can easily add more Cloud Servers, and then remove them once the demand subsides.

Hmm. Seems like the same thing to me. Sure, “cloud hosting” is a cooler term, but I am not sure how many innovations are actually behind it.

Anyway what do you guys think? Do you believe some people/companies are over-hyping the “cloud” concept and trying to profit from it?




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14 Responses to “I Am All for the Cloud, But Let’s Not Make It A Buzz Word”

  • David Goodwin

    The cloud is just the Internet. Since it’s tough to market “the Internet” as a solution to say, traffic spikes, the term has evolved to mean what’s on the other side of the cloud.

    Cloud computing is a win/win way of going about the business of IT because it maximizes the productivity of the IT infrastructure and thereby brings unit costs down. We get cheap web hosting, cheap Google apps, and cheap MS Exchange email without having to employ a gaggle of geeks to make it happen.

    There’s no way the typical SMB can match the efficiencies of cloud-based resources so no, I do not think it’s hype.

    • Kamal Hasa

      That’s the way businesses are run. Old product in a new packaging.

      • Web Marketing Tips

        That’s the base of every business even Cameron movie Avataar was the remake of old movie with new name and new technology.

        Just cloud is the word which can be easily understand and if not than enough to create curiosity.

  • Sujith-techlineinfo

    Yes Daniel, You said the right. A server which is not in our physical presence can also be termed as cloud server in a broad sense. The big charges by cloud hosts cannot be justified. The cloud server giants are projecting the technology by using the term “elastic computing” means you will get the resources when you need it, but one doubt persists – a good quality dedicated server is also doing the same thing at the lesser cost. If you are getting Good resources always, at the same rate then why should think about the supply and demand ratio ? Cloud servers cannot be termed as an economical alternative for dedicated servers. Cloud servers may be suitable for the websites with sudden spikes of traffic.

  • Melvin

    I agree with David, its more of just an innovation. Its like eBooks, before it was eBooks then it became info product and now more and more terms are being applied to it.

  • Julius

    I agree that there are companies who try to capitalize on the term cloud computing as a buzz word.

    I guess change should start from our own selves. I for one now have a clearer understanding of this term because of this post. I admit that I’ve had some misconceptions about it in the past.

  • mohsin

    yes I agree with you Daniel, I think the “cloud computing” buzz is started by Google while competing Microsoft. But this has lead many others to create misleading marketing pitches for “cloud computing”. And hosting companies are surely doing it.
    One more thing I want to mention is that cloud computing is not that dependable and revolutionary as it is presented. Because although it enables us to access documents remotely. But the powerful editing features are not easy to provide and use over internet.
    Cloud Computing will remain, for many coming years, a scaled down way to handling documents remotely. Otherwise desktop softwares are not easy or soon to be replaced by web version.

  • Heinrich

    There are a lot of companies that have jumped on the “cloud” wagon and that are using it to promote their services as a new type of offering. The reality is that the guy on street does not fully understand the meaning of cloud-computing and can be misled. Thank you for a thought provoking article. Keep-up the good work!

  • Techno-Pulse

    Cloud Computing is not only hosting in a remote server. Hosting is just one layer of the cloud. We should not forget the other two important layers: PaaS & SaaS.

  • redwall_hp

    Here’s the thing. “Cloud” means that your data is on more than one server. It’s already becoming a buzz word if you’re going to say that anything online is “in the cloud.”

    Take VPS.net’s cloud hosting, for example. They call it as such because your VM and the data it contains is distributed across multiple physical machines in their datacenters.

    Cloud apps like GMail are the same. They store your data on more than one server.

  • Sheila Atwood

    Using term “The Cloud” is a marketing ploy. This goes on all the time. A new term comes up, it is usually for something that is already common.

    Thanks for your explanation of how “The Cloud” is already in existence but has a new name.

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire

    Just like the economic stimulus became a buzzword for people selling everything from shampoo to bubble gum, to cars and houses, this is just another buzzoword.

    When an industry has to pitch things that are not that sexy, they will grab onto any term they can in order to spice things up for the prospect.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  • Leon Noone

    G’Day Daniel,

    That ‘cloud’ that you’re talking about hasn’t appeared in this part of beautiful, downtown Sydney to my knowledge. But I do have a request.

    Please put crossheads in you blog texts. It would make them so much easier to read.

    Regards

    Leon

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    I am not comfortable with Cloud Computing. Yeah I do most of the work on the browser, but I still need the pc to do lots of other stuff!

    Did you hear about the printer support in Chrome OS?

    It won’t have legacy printer support!

    Meaning you will have to go to the web, send a command somehow just to print to a printer sitting next to your pc!

    ROFL!!

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