Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing Is Real and It's Changing How We in the Software World Work

Cloud computing is the provisioning of resources as and when you need them in as real time as possible

Alan Williamson's Blog

Cloud computing is real. Cloud computing is changing how we in the software world work. But it is not everything to everyone and it is definitely not the second coming that will change how we all interact on the Internet. While I respect Stephen Fry hugely, I find myself a little disappointed that he has jumped onto marketing hype and taken his legion of followers off on the wrong direction. I expected more.


The computer industry's history is littered with dead buzzwords and over hyped technology. Sometimes we don't even bother defining exactly a given buzzword. Take Web2.0 for example, it is different things to different people.

Besides the problem that comes from being ill defined, it always leads to a huge amount of confusion in the market place. Another classic naming blunder from the annals of history is of course the Java and JavaScript debacle. Two completely separate technologies morphed together in a moment of marketing madness leaves a whole generation of recruiters scratching their heads.

History is repeating itself once again, with the latest victim being cloud computing.

This one is a little different, since we have celebrity backing from no other than the UK's resident brain box Stephen Fry. But dear Stephen has missed the point and he too has jumped on the marketing hype band wagon.

He tries to explain what cloud computing is, in simple terms for his readers. He states that cloud computing is basically putting your data "out there" in the "cloud" instead of letting it reside on your PC/Mac. Instead of storing your data in a local folder, you instead put it on say Google Docs, or ZoHo.com, thus saving yourself your from any problems your local machine may fall upon it.

Wait a minute, thats not cloud computing. That is called, the "Internet". If anything, its "Web2.0" where by you mash up a variety of services to give yourself a unified experience. Stephen notes that "The network holds not only your files". Mmm sounds more like what Sun has been peddling for the last 15 years that the "Network is the computer".

What Stephen is describing isn't "cloud computing" per se, but more of a product of what "cloud computing" can deliver, but not necessarily. What Stephen describes, in his utopia of online living, can be run off a single lowly server sitting in a hosting rack. No one would ever call that "cloud computing". I think we call that hosting!


It is no more cloud computing than me saying that I am in the automotive industry just because I drive a car.

For me, I believe the "cloud computing" is the provisioning of resources as and when you need them in as real time as possible. It is the 'clouding' or grouping of services/servers to provide the necessary power for the task at hand. If you really want to get gritty, it is a design pattern for the automatic load balancing of your services.

Think Star Trek in the old days, when Captain Picard/Kirk would ask for "more power to the shields", and suddenly all this power would go to the shields. For me, I would often think there was a room somewhere in the Enterprise that would suddenly go dark with the recipients sitting in the dark cursing the bridge wondering why it was always their room!

Cloud computing is nothing new. Richard Stallman recently was interviewed regarding his concern for cloud computing; who owns your data? Hold on a minute, that isn't a cloud computing problem. Isn't that a general "Internet" problem that has existed since the first service ever came online and asked for a user to register their details.

While I respect Stephen Fry hugely, I find myself a little disappointed that he has jumped onto marketing hype and taken his legion of followers off on the wrong direction. I expected more.

Cloud computing is real. Cloud computing is changing how we in the software world work. But it is not everything to everyone and it is definitely not the second coming that will change how we all interact on the Internet.


[This appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author.]

Cloud Computing Bootcamp Announced: November 19, 2008 led by Alan Williamson
Being held for the first time at The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA, on November 19, 2008, the Cloud Computing Bootcamp will show you how to take advantage of the cloud.

Cloud computing is an opportunity for businesses to implement low-cost, low-power and high-efficiency systems to deliver scalable infrastructure. But moving to a cloud infrastructure is not necessarily as nice and clean as the providers would want you to think. With cloud infrastructures problems don't magically go away; they just shift: you don't have scalability or storage problems any more, but you need to constantly monitor the cloud and your application in it.

Led by Alan Williamson, the Cloud Computing Bootcamp will illustrate all the major players and provide a hands-on program with configuration samples, live demos and working setups you can further adapt and play with.

Alan Williamson, founder of Blog-City.com, is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). He is currently engaged with a number of startups providing technology and expertise. He has worked with SpikeSource for nearly three years as technical evangelist and architect in SpikeLabs. He has assisted VCs in preparing technical overview and due diligence, was editor-in-chief of Java Developer's Journal, founding editor of LinuxWorld Magazine, and has more than 16 years of experience in the world of software development.

Click Here to Register Now and Save!

Join Alan Williamson and your fellow attendees at the Cloud Computing Bootcamp on November 19, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We'll see you in San Jose, California!

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...