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10/23/2008
01:56 PM
John Foley
John Foley
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Cloud Computing's Skeptics And Critics

We hear a lot from cloud computing's true believers, those who are convinced it's the next big thing in business technology. But, there are two sides to every story, and the naysayers are sounding off.

We hear a lot from cloud computing's true believers, those who are convinced it's the next big thing in business technology. But, there are two sides to every story, and the naysayers are sounding off.As I've already written on this blog, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison blasted the concept recently, referring to all the buzz over cloud computing as "idiocy," "crap," "gibberish," and "crazy." That was followed by Richard Stallman's reference to cloud computing as being "worse than stupidity."

Some opinionated InformationWeek.com visitors have weighed in with their own denunciations. Following are some of the comments they've left behind:

Kate: I am so not a fan of "cloud-computing". It's really just a power grab to suck down your data and hold it hostage.

Gypkap: Cloud computing is kinda like the Emperor's New Clothes. Much flash and bling out there, but no real reason to use a cloud for anything other than marketing.

Smithwill: Like all the "pie-in-the-sky" concepts that came before it, the cloud is just another "bank of fog" used to hype technology. It's more of the same. People will fidget and fuss trying to save money and improve results. Frankly, there are only so many ways to skin a cat and right now what we have are a lot of skinless kitties and no freaking idea about what's happening on the network and how it contributes to the bottom line!

Russell Glaue: The term "cloud" is just a lot of hype. In reality, "cloud" only defines how a grid service is constructed and accessed.

BruceBFD: When you look at the big picture, "cloud" software can actually be more expensive than the software I load onto my hard drive. Lost time due to service disruptions costs money. In some cases, lots of it. Copying my important docs onto a thumb drive and working from that is much more reliable than anything in a "cloud."

Anonymous: As a marketer, I'm fascinated when my colleagues invent another nonspecific, buzz-word-term so IT service companies can make the same money more than once. ...Now the IT industry will be motivated to relabel the "stuff" that they already have. This will make it look as though "innovative" corporations simply must repurchase the newly relabeled software and hardware that they've already been sold. Consultants now mysteriously appear from inside this magical cloud apparition and disappear back into it to count the money they've lifted from the budgets of young, and painfully naive, managements.

OK, now that we've got that off our chest, what's next? Just today, Amazon announced that its Elastic Compute Cloud service has moved from beta into full production. And over the next few weeks, IBM, Microsoft, Rackspace, and Saleforce.com will have cloud announcements of their own.

In other words, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to argue the pros and cons. What's your view on cloud computing? Weigh in here.

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