If you haven’t heard the buzzword “cloud” recently, you’ve been living under a rock. Cloud computing is the new hot trend in the IT world and usually refers to a hardware or software service that is delivered through a network connection. The cloud is an abstraction of the complex infrastructure cloud computing can often have. The point is to remove the burden from your own hardware and software. However, as cloud computing gained traction and media attention, a marketing trick called “cloud washing” came to be.
Since the definition of the cloud can be – pardon the pun – foggy, many vendors simply rebrand their existing products or services with “cloud” to jump on the media bandwagon. The spirit of the cloud is to provide software as a service and shift some of the management burden and updating off the customer. A recent poll of business people in the UK found that 22 percent of them felt their cloud service providers were too rigid and inflexible — the first sign of cloud washing.
According to InformationWeek’s editor-at-large, Charles Babcock:
“To actually be part of the cloud requires systems that run on a simplified data center architecture, operated largely by automated policies, not human hands. The architecture allows end users to self-provision their own servers, and has a billing mechanism that allows the supplier to charge only for the resource used, not the lifetime software license cost.”
If choice and control are not given to the end user, it’s more than likely that it isn’t real cloud computing.