Cloud Computing: “What It Is and What It Can Do for You”

Cloud computing is one of the latest computer and business industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of virtualization, grid computing, and clustering, among others, in the IT industry. The problem is that, depending on your point of view, the definition of cloud computing can be quite different. Depending on your perspective, you could look at it from a business point of view or an application point of view, as well as others. This has created confusion on the definition and a fuzzy view as to what cloud computing is or even does.

The term cloud computing is overused and ill-defined, which has led many IT professionals and management to make assumptions as to what cloud computing does and how their companies can best utilize it. The IT Industry is not making it easier for their customers by offering many different definitions and products that only create confusion. This confusion is what the IT vendors are utilizing to create many different products and call them “cloud products.” Examples of this behavior can be seen by watching television ads that are being broadcast to everyone, not just IT professionals and management. One large IT company defines cloud computing in a way that only a person with a PhD. in linguistics and computer science could understand, but the ad tells you they are making a simple definition, and if you do not understand their definition then call up their professional services to “help” your company take advantage of cloud computing. This ad, as well as other marketing, makes the idea so complex that no one understands it, and this only makes cloud computing more of a “riddle wrapped in an enigma.”

The cloud is a great marketing term, with lots of hype behind it. This white paper will define cloud computing using a commonly accepted definition to get past the hype. Then we will discuss the different types of cloud computing, which also have added to the confusion as to what cloud computing is and does. We will end with ideas on how you can begin to implement the cloud in your environment.

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