Bits & Bytes
Not a Cloud
BY HUBERT WILLIAMS
Bear with me for a bit, but I have a complaint. For years I have heard vendors answer infrastructure questions about hosted infrastructure solutions; they say something to the ffect of, “Oh, it’s in the
cloud.” Hey, thanks for those details.
I hereby and forever call foul on all vendors who
make whimsical statements like this when the
serious question of infrastructure design and security is asked. “It’s in the cloud” is not an answer.
Okay, so where did the (gag!) “cloud” reference
come from? If you look it up, you’ll find that the origin
is not clear, but I suspect it is the fault of Microsoft.
Here’s why: Back in the day, when infrastructure was
tangible, technologists referred to hosted services as
a “black box” service or, more accurately, as a “hosted
application” provided by a vendor. But then Visio
came out with the ubiquitous cloud image to describe
undefined infrastructure. Some marketing genius
grabbed on and started calling the black box a cloud
and all seemed good with the world.
After all, it makes sense. A black box solution
sounds a little like something Darth Programmer
made, but “the cloud” sounds fluffy and pretty, and
what could possibly go bad with a cloud? Clouds
are good. To marketing types, fluffy clouds sound
better than black boxes, so now and forever, hosted
services are referred to as clouds.
Let’s be really clear about this. There do, in fact, exist
real cloud solutions and they can be of huge benefit
to your business. In my opinion, true cloud solutions
are expandable and extensible as needed and you do
not need to spend much time thinking about them.
This is because they can adapt to new security risks or
customer demands without ordering techno iron and
having “Joe tech” rack and stack the equipment.
'It's in the cloud,'
is not an answer."