I was reading Robin Bloor’s blog entry from earlier in the year recently where he makes some interesting points. But I’m not sure that I agree with all of them…
Robin attempts to identify some of the defining characteristics of cloud computing but I get the feeling that he is starting from a slightly cynical stand point. And whilst I agree that vendor and service provider marketing tactics have created a great deal of hype, I feel others must also share some of the blame for the confusion in the space.
Anyway, his 10 Defining Points for Cloud Computing blog entry is here. I tried to post a comment but as it appears that it’s still awaiting moderation, I thought I’d reproduce it below.
An interesting read as ever Robin but I can’t help thinking that you’ve defined Cloud Computing more so by the things it is not, than what it is. But perhaps that is the place to start when defining something as nebulous as Cloud Computing.
Completely agree that cloud computing is a confused set of definitions and misunderstandings but whilst I acknowledge that the marketing tactics of vendors and providers should take some of the blame – so should the market analysts. The global IT analysts have resisted the temptation to coalesce around a series of definitions and market categories for reasons of vested interest. De facto market category definitions and market segmentations are still up for grabs. So for analysts it’s currently about land grab – attempting to be the firm that defines the broad Cloud Computing categories and drivers. Their attempts to define and steer the market on their terms simply further serves to confuse prospective Cloud Computing users.
I also agree that standards are currently few and far between. The upshot of this is that market analysts and vendors can afford to go in different directions without being restrained by common understanding and artificial technical limitations. Again the impact is on the potential Cloud Computing user who is left trying to find their way in a world that is not easy to define, classify and compare.
Finally the ease at which technology vendors can enter into a hosting agreement with someone and then rename a product line and voila – they become a Cloud Computing vendor, has made the Cloud Computing market incredibly crowded, incredibly quickly. Attrition and customer cynicism should account for the weakest vendors here leaving the candidates for success in the market categories in which they compete.
For what it’s worth I’ve tried to bring some sense to the categorisation of the various market categories and cloud computing vendors/providers in the Lustratus REPAMA market landscape, taxonomy and segmentation model. Instead of ploughing my own furrow, I stood on the shoulders of giants and worked from some of the best definitions I had found in the blogosphere and beyond.
I wondered if your readership my find this useful. This is discussed here.
My colleague Steve Craggs has also attempted to define cloud computing in lay-terms based on the categories above.Steve’s piece is discussed here.