Cloud Computing – Hype vs. Reality

When was the last time you attended a presentation or a webinar that did not have a mention of the “C” word?

Many folks have gone overboard with this – check out the Citrix Cloud Center web page on the Citrix web site. Try reading through the page and see if you get the gist of the Citrix Cloud Center.

All i could get was “cloud proven virtualization and networking products”, “most widely-adopted virtual infrastructure platform for hosted cloud services”, “cloud-proven virtualization platform”, “cloud-scale distributed virtual switch”, “cloud balancing”, and “burstable clouds”. It all went over my head! I counted 33 occurrences of the “cloud” which must be good for search engine optimization but not for me, the (human) reader!!!

It was then refreshing to read a simple, elegant and informative article on Cloud Computing . This article clearly explains how cloud computing is an operations model, not technology. From a monitoring and management solution perspective, of particular interest is this paragraph – “For the most part, cloud computing uses the same management tools, operating systems, middleware, databases, server platforms, network cabling, storage arrays, and so on, that we have come to know and love over the last several decades. Specific technologies, of course, gain significant importance in a cloud computing environment, such as policy-driven automation, metering systems, and self-service provisioning portals. However, all of these technologies–with the possible exception of the self-service portal–existed before cloud computing became a much hyped paradigm.” Be sure to check this article – it’s a good read.

Talking of cloud services, did you know that you can get your own cloud environment in a few mins? Check the free trial that CloudShare is offering . I tried this out last week and was able to have a couple of machines – one with Windows 2008 and SQL 2008 and another with CentOS and MySQL up and running in less than 5 minutes. Now, how long would that take for you to get this setup from your own IT department? Probably, an hour to answer questions about why you need the systems, a day to get the machines, a couple of hours at least to have the software installed, …

This demonstrates the power of cloud computing. Check out the CloudShare beta offering today and experience the cloud first hand.