Hello Goat Jam and other cloud sceptics.
Dale here again (author of the piece you are commenting on).
I have spent the last 3 or 4 years challenging the marketing and PR people on the over-positioning of cloud offerings - feel free to Google my name if you doubt my credentials here :-)
The way I have learned to think about it is that 80-90% of the stuff underpinning all of the cloud related marketing and press coverage is accounted for by familiar ideas and technology, but the 10-20% that's new does allow a lot of that familiar stuff to be used differently.
In the world of outsourcing, this has enabled hosting companies to provide a lot more choice and flexibility, though contrary to the evangelist rhetoric, this doesn't mean that established hosting models are any less relevant, nor that emerging cloud models are always well-thought out (the industry here is still quite immature). .
Similarly, the whole private cloud thing takes the idea of server farms and clusters to a different place, which again introduces a lot more flexibility (this time typically in your own data centre or computer room), but as our latest Reg reader research makes clear, this does not mean the end of mainframes, big Unix boxes, highly optimised specialise clusters, and so on - at least that's what we're hearing back from the masses.
Pulling these threads together, the other interesting finding from the latest reader research is that most people don't regard so called 'public cloud' and 'private cloud' as having much to do with each other. The first is typically viewed as an evolution of hosting, and the second as an evolution of virtualisation. This says to me that most people have not been influenced by the arbitrary use of 'C' word by vendors and pundits as much as some think.
There's loads of stuff on our site (www.freeformdynamics.com) discussing all this, and you'll find lots of articles on cloud from me and others in our team on El Reg (just search for 'Freeform Dynamics'). In the meantime, though, check out the latest reader study report (link embedded in the original article we are commenting on here), which walks through where private cloud may or may not fit into your landscape.
Netting it all out, it is incorrect to say that everything discussed in relation to cloud is new and/or is the answer to everyone's prayers, but it's also misguided to write it all off as being pure hype and spin. There is substance there that can make life in IT a lot easier if it's applied in the right place in the right way - even if it is bloody irritating having to wade through so much marketing guff to get to it :-)