More fuel for the brewing 'private cloud' rebellion

CSC's fake 'private cloud' -- and the willingness of some reporters to call it out -- may bring down cloud washing

I love reading the international technical press and its coverage of cloud computing. Those writers seem to be a lot less enamored with the hype than their American counterparts, and they provide sobering analysis.

Such was the case in this Delimiter article that talks about Computer Science Corporation (CSC) offering what the company claims is a new concept in cloud computing: the "on-premise private cloud." The service launched by CSC in Australia is based upon the vCloud offering from VMware, Cisco Systems, and EMC (VMware's parent) -- there's nothing new there. Pretty much every large services organization has a similar grouping of technology that it has knitted together and call a "private cloud."

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CSC's item does not look like a cloud to me. The reporters and editors at Delimiter had the same reaction and were unafraid to say it publicly: "'On-premise private cloud,' my ass. CSC might as well just call this a managed service and be done with it. Frankly, describing this as cloud computing infrastructure is really quite a misnomer. Not only is the service hosted on customers' premises, but there would appear to be little real opportunity for dynamic expansion of the services used, as in the classic cloud computing paradigm."

Although the analysis is not very politically correct, the underlying message is spot on. In a previous post, I already said how the term "cloud computing" is becoming meaningless. This CSC offering is just another reason why, but CSC is just joining the party -- everyone is doing it.

However, that party could soon be ending. There seems to be emerging anger around this kind of spin. Corporate IT, bloggers, consultants, and others are beginning to push back on the "cloud washing." (Calling a loose grouping of technology that in no way resembles a private cloud is a prime example of cloud washing.)

Perhaps with enough outrage, companies like CSC will stop trying to fool others -- and themselves. Until then, the expression "fake it till you make it" defines what many vendors are doing in the emerging cloud computing market.

This article, "More fuel for the brewing 'private cloud' rebellion," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


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