Cloud Equals SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting...?

With virtually every vendor/provider on the planet jumping on the Cloud Computing bandwagon, sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a service is truly a Cloud Computing offering or simply a pre-existing offering that has the Cloud label slapped on it, such as hosting, outsourcing, ASP (Application Service Provider), On Demand Computing, Grid computing, Utility computing, SaaS (Software as a Service) and so on.

In fact, Cloud Computing is not a technology revolution, but rather a process and business evolution on how we use those technologies that enables Cloud Computing as it exists today: SaaS, inexpensive storage, REST, AJAX, SOA(service-oriented architectures), On Demand Computing, Grid Computing, Utility Computing, virtualization, etc.

The issue is that many providers of those technologies hijacked the term Cloud Computing, and it is this confusion that discredits the entire industry; if everyone is doing "Cloud", then in a sense, no one is doing it. The advantages the cloud are supposed to deliver become dissipated in the mist of confusion, deception, deceit and disillusionment.

Consider the following analogy: any example of franchising is a business, however not all businesses are franchises; this line of reasoning can be applied to Cloud Computing: while some SaaS offerings are Cloud, that doesn't make all SaaS offerings Cloud services.

Just a quick note about the last statement: SaaS is one of the three possible Cloud Computing delivery modes; however, to be considered Cloud Computing, any of those delivery modes must have certain specific characteristics (as you will see in the next article - "What is Cloud Computing?")

For all of the above reasons, it's important to define what is really Cloud Computing because there is definitely promise of value, despite all the hype and confusion.

In the nexts articles, I will cover the followings points:
- What Exactly is Cloud Computing?
- Why Large Public and Private Sector Organizations (not just SMB's) Are Seriously Considering Cloud Computing?
- What are the Cloud Computing Challenges and Risks?
- Real-World Cloud Computing Applications- Cloud Computing Enterprise Implementation Road-Map

Thanks, and please let me know how can I help you.
Maria Spínola

P.S. Also see Cloud Computing, in Plain English, to IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's
and Why Should IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's Care About Cloud Computing?

There was an error in this gadget