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4 things that are killing cloud computing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Zack MIlls   
Thursday, 01 October 2009 23:38

I agree with this article, if you need assistance in how to use the cloud in your business please contact me.

4 things that are killing cloud computing

By David Linthicum
Created 2009-10-01 03:00AM


As I talk to people about cloud computing, it's interesting to see two major camps: One camp is composed of those who consider cloud computing to be the second coming of IT, and thus demand that you bow down to Google App Engine and Amazon EC2 [1]. The other camp includes those who see cloud computing as evil, a bubble, or a passing fad. (Very few people form the third camp: those who look at cloud computing the way everyone should look at cloud computing, namely as architectural options that can improve efficiencies and lower costs.)

In an ironic twist, there are forces out there, in both the pro and con camps, hurting the potential value of cloud computing -- potentially to the point of killing cloud computing. They are:


  • Overhyped Google Gmail outages
  • The "cloud everything" crowd
  • The "cloud is evil" crowd
  • The cloud providers themselves

[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in the InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report [2]. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter [3]. ]

Gmail outages hype
The issue around the Gmail outages, including the one that occurred last week [4], is not the outages themselves but the fact that every pundit with a blog account calls for the end of cloud computing because Gmail tanked for a few hours. Let's get this straight: E-mail systems go down, whether on-premise or cloud-delivered, and if you think you're going to ever get 100 percent uptime, you're dreaming. The uptime record for Gmail is more impressive than that of most enterprise e-mail systems. Also, Gmail is free, where enterprise e-mail systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in software, hardware, and salaries for those charged with maintaining them.

The "cloud everything" crowd
This group believes that all applications and data should reside in the cloud, and its members approach enterprise architecture as an opportunity to push all they can into the clouds, without regard for the core needs of the applications and, therefore, the business. These are typically the "manage by magazine" types who jump on every popular trend as the only way to approach IT at that particular time. The result will be failed cloud computing deployments, not because cloud computing itself failed but because it was used for the wrong applications.

The "cloud is evil" crowd
These people believe that cloud computing provides no security or privacy, and they argue that we can't consider cloud computing at all. Typically, these guys have many existing security issues with their on-premise systems, and in many cases they could use cloud computing systems that would actually provide more security if they would just open up their minds to the idea of using IT assets they don't control. At the end of the day, the real issue for these people is a desire to maintain control and power.

The cloud providers
Cloud computing vendors themselves are harming cloud computing. Although many of the SaaS and infrastructure providers understand infrastructure services and perhaps Web-delivered applications, they don't understand the best practices around using their on-demand IT assets in the context of an enterprise architecture strategy. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and they have a tendency not to provide the right guidance to their customers around the right fit for the technology. That myopia is driving a few cloud computing projects to failure. Good cloud computing providers need to approach enterprises with the heart of an architect or teacher, providing key guidance to ensure that their on-demand services fit in the right places within existing IT. This means in many cases telling customers that their cloud computing offering is not a good idea for a specific-use case. I understand that's a tough thing to do, but you'll sell more in the long run, believe me.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 10:23