Monday, September 1, 2008

Enlightened Definition for Cloud Computing

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Next Generation Data Center (NGDC) conference in San Francisco. For me, one of the highlights was a presentation on Cloud Computing by Sam Charrington of Appistry. Not only did Sam give what I consider to be one of the more enlightening definitions of cloud computing but he displayed a lyrical talent not normally found in an engineer.

Sam's main point is that past attempts to define cloud computing have missed the mark by exhibiting myopic tendencies, focusing on one of the many technologies that make up the fabric of the cloud rather than appreciating that the cloud is a consequence of the synergistic interaction of integrated technologies and advanced compute thought leadership. I must confess I may have taken some liberties in my interpretation of Sam's position and would point to Sam's blog if you would like his unabridged comments.

The highlight of the presentation was Sam's parody of a poem by John Godfrey Saxe, "The Blind Men and the Elephant”, to underpin his point that cloud computing is a convergence of multiple technologies and is not simply one dominant technology. I would be remiss if I did not also recognize Noreen Barczewski who Sam acknowledges as the the Bard of Appistry.

Good job Sam (and Noreen).

The Blind Men and the Cloud

It was six men of Info Tech
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Cloud
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Cloud,
So sure that he was boasting
“I know exactly what this is…
This Cloud is simply Hosting.”

The Second grasped within the Cloud,
Saying, “No it’s obvious to me,
This Cloud is grid computing
Servers working together in harmony!”

The Third, in need of an answer,
Cried, "Ho! I know its source of power
It’s a utility computing solution
Which charges by the hour.”

The Fourth reached out to touch it,
It was there, but it was not
“Virtualization,” said he.
“That’s precisely what we've got!”

The Fifth, so sure the rest were wrong
Declared “It’s sass you fools,
Applications with no installation
It’s breaking all the rules!"

The Sixth (whose name was Benioff),
Felt the future he did know,
He made haste in boldly stating,
“This *IS* Web 3.0.”

And so these men of Info Tech
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were partly wrong!

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