As someone who deals with the word “Cloud” as part of their day job it can get very confusing. When a client or colleague says “I want cloud” or “what about hosting it in the cloud” what does it mean? Well, in my line of work it could mean any of the following ….

  • Virtual Machines hosted on a highly available hardware platform
  • Instances hosted in a an auto-scaling available configuration
  • Using Content Delivery Networks (CDN) for content
  • Uploading static content Distributed Object Storage
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Thats only a small list of what services which the word “Cloud” is used for. What makes things even more confusing is when I try and explain to friends and family what actually I do their only points of reference for “Cloud” are advertisements like this one from IBM ….

… or this one from Microsoft …

… of the two videos the IBM one is probably best description of what “Cloud” can do, but the Microsoft is a lot easier to understand as it adds the context which people can relate to.

So whats the point of this post? I am making a late new years resolution to try and not use the word Cloud in the context of servers and computing in general, instead I am going try and use the proper descriptions ….


… while this may mean that I have do a lot more explaining its certainly a lot better than being misunderstood because I have used a catch-all description like “Hey, lets stick it in the Cloud”. Also, as with most things, I am just following Dilbert’s example.


Written by Russ McKendrick

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together

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