Cloud Confusion Reigns !

I have just opened this months version of a computing magazine I subscribe to and was faced with a two page advert that had the headline “Flocking to the Cloud ?”. The advert, by a respected UK hosting provider was offering a free report whose title I have used for this post. The advert started me thinking about how difficult it can be to make an informed decision when tasked with purchasing computing services. For example, over the two page advert the following buzzwords were highlighted:

  • Private Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Virtualisation
  • Managed hosting

Unless somebody is aware of the details of cloud computing some of these terms will be a mystery. Some are not cloud computing. The text of the advert then proceeded to describe how businesses are now flocking to the cloud ‘in their droves’ because of the benefits that ‘speak for themselves’.

I think this advert highlights two major factors that are to blame for the confusion that can surround cloud computing.
1. Firstly, cloud computing is many things and so is difficult to explain in a clear concise way. It spans all aspects of IT delivery.
2. Secondly, many cloud computing vendors, such as the one whose advert triggered me to write this post, have evolved from traditional hosting providers. These organisations are now selling cloud computing services together with their traditional hosting services, but often their marketing materials include both areas of products/services which have large areas of functionality overlap. They want to sell the new cloud services but also their traditional services too for those who will not move to cloud computing.

The net result of the wide and rapidly evolving cloud computing products and services, together with a lack of clarity in vendors marketing make it extremely difficult to make good sense of what cloud computing is and how it may benefit an organisation. In addition how does it compare to more traditional IT services in aspects such as cost, performance, security, availability etc. As author of Learning Tree’s Introduction to Cloud Computing course, this was one of the main factors I wanted to deliver – a clear, focused and detailed 3 days explaining exactly what cloud computing is, what it is not, and how it can be used by organisations to deliver business and technical benefits. If you are not sure about cloud computing, why not consider attending. Details can be found here.

Chris Czarnecki

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