The “Cloud Idea”: Drizzle or Brainstorm?

(Last Updated On: October 24, 2011)

The “Cloud Idea”: Drizzle or Brainstorm?

I’ve been traveling a fair amount lately, and I am surprised by the varied reactions to “the cloud” as it comes up in different discussions. Some talk about it with glowing reverence, while others say it is over-hyped. Some over-extend the capabilities of “the cloud,” while others are staunch pessimists at best.

So what are your takes on cloud computing? What are some concrete examples of how you have benefited by it, or why you think it is marketing hype?


What’s interesting is no-one can seem to define what the cloud is. Stuff is done somewhere on a set of aribitrary resources.

The ability to store data in the ‘cloud’ (Dropbox/iCloud) comes over as a posher version of NFS.

Compute in ‘the cloud’, well PCs are commodity now and are fairly powerful compared to the tasks a general user would undertake. If you had a compute heavy task then would a vague ‘cloud’ service be of interest? Not forgetting the need for a robust/secure communications infrastructure to underpin the cloud and user access to it.

Its mainly hype. The ‘cloud’ is a way to explain an interconnected system to someone who doesnt know computers. The services always end up on hardware. The hype notion is also reinforced by the fact the UK Govt is letting contracts to supply ‘cloud’ services to them!



I view the cloud as simply a mainframe. In the CFD (computational fluid dynamics) domain the cloud is being pushed hard because of the long solver times on small parallel systems. I am curious to see how the cloud pans out in the next few years.



Your point is well-taken, and a similar notion is what prompted me to write about it. I am thinking they used the term “cloud” intentionally, possibly referring to the fact it is “nebulous” (weather pun!)

Some people I have met believe it is some “supercomputer in the sky” that they will have access to run their software/problem solver/iterative tasks much, much quicker, all with the click of a mouse and no “codification” on their part. I have no idea how such a notion has escaped into the wild.

Others view “the cloud” merely as a huge “trash heap” where they will have unlimited amounts of storage.

Interesting how the views are so widely different.



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