For a few months during the darkest depths of the downturn, the drumbeat for cloud computing faded, as if it might slip into oblivion forever.
But oh, cloud computing has thunked its way back big time, providing the soundtrack for VMworld and the Intel Developer Forum -- and supplying fanfare for all kinds of announcements, from Verizon's cloud services to AMD's forthcoming "cloud computing processors" for mobile devices. A few days ago, I actually heard about Intel's "investment in cloud computing" (i.e., cloud management provider Adaptive Computing) on AM radio. Wall Street, it was reported, reacted positively.
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Even a couple of neighbors have asked me, "So, what is this cloud computing stuff I keep hearing about?"
Very good question. InfoWorld readers know that we have taken several swipes at defining cloud computing, from "What cloud computing really means" to, much more recently, "What the 'private cloud' really means."
If you're in doubt, please refer to those definitions. My neighbors get the consumer version: "You're already using the cloud. Do you use Web email? Do you play multiplayer games? Do you stream music or video? Are you on Facebook? Do you surf the Web? All of that lives in the cloud -- and you're using it."
Simple, right? It's the obfuscation in the industry that's getting to me. The operative term is "cloudwashing," where all sorts of things get grandfathered into the cloud. Here are a few things I never want to see referred to as "cloudy" ever again: