back to article Private cloud has a serious image problem

As domination goes, it’s hard to surpass Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to recent Gartner data, AWS now offers 10X the utilised cloud capacity of the next 14 IaaS and PaaS providers... combined. For those paying attention, that’s double the dominance AWS established last year. And while public cloud spending remains a …

  1. Bogle

    Private = Privacy

    A big win for the private cloud has to be privacy.

    With AWS and Azure being USA owned there's nothing they can do to prevent your data being handed over to their government. Want to do sell a service into the UK pensions industry, for instance? No way are they going to be able to provide their members' data for you to run it in, basically, the USA.

    1. Dan 10

      Re: Private = Privacy

      The stated use case for hosting in different regions is the regulatory impacts. So if, with AWS, I choose Ireland as my primary location, and Frankfurt as secondary, then in the event that AWS still cough for 'the man', the benefits of multi-region hosting start to wobble.

      'Course, given that there isn't a UK host region (yet), that still mightn't be sufficient for regulated industries.

  2. Tom 13

    Re: According to recent Gartner data,

    Thanks for admitting up front that your entire article is vaporware because it's based on data from a vaporware company.

    About 30 years ago I worked for an outfit that was trying to develop the IoT on a much smaller scale. The innocent child asked "but why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge?" The marketing gurus had no answer and a few years later the outfit went bankrupt. In all the time since, no one has been able to answer that question.

    1. Otto is a bear.

      Re: According to recent Gartner data,

      A good question, but the wrong one, and the answer is, the toaster knows you use 4 slices of toast in the morning and the fridge knows how many slices you have, simples, and complete bollocks.

      I always thought the use case was about re-ordering the contents of your fridge and monitoring it's energy usage, as for the toaster who knows, perhaps it needs to express its feelings.

      The only valid use case I can think of is an excuse for White Goods vendors to sell us more fridges and toasters, and just think of the scope for product tie ins. Buy a John Lewis fridge and toaster, and the software reorders for you straight from Waitrose. (For our North American readers, The John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose, is an employee owned business mostly known for its department stores and up market food stores (Waitrose), but it also makes stuff as well).

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: According to recent Gartner data,

        Well, if the toaster and the fridge can talk to eachother, maybe they can talk to you as well! Has to be at least as interesting as some of the conversations I've had with fellow Homo Sapiens.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: maybe they can talk to you as well!

          I read the language the toaster would have used to talk to the fridge (in fact the document on that language was actually what landed me my next job). It's really messed up. Think Frank Zappa lyrics digitally remumbled by Ozzie Osborn except read in the Ben Stein monotone from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. <shudder>

        2. Nym

          Re: According to recent Gartner data,

          You didn't read Hitchhiker's Guide carefully enough.


          These guys are ALIENS!

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: According to recent Gartner data,

        Well obviously it could broadcast your toast-eating habits to the world on Twitter. It could display an alert on your phone when your toast is ready, in case the noise the toaster makes isn't enough. And of course, it could use the data to deliver engaging personalised information [otherwise known as spam, of the type that you don't eat with toast].

        1. Tom 13

          Re: spam, of the type that you don't eat with toast

          Fried spam on toast?

          Yum-yum. Now I'm hungry.

      3. Dr. Mouse

        Re: According to recent Gartner data,

        I always thought the use case was about re-ordering the contents of your fridge and monitoring it's energy usage, as for the toaster who knows, perhaps it needs to express its feelings.

        Toaster: Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

        Lister: Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.

        Toaster: How 'bout a muffin?

        Lister: Or muffins. Or muffins. We don't like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no smegging flapjacks.

        Toaster: Aah, so you're a waffle man.

      4. Nym

        Toaster And The Fridge

        No, they announce to the knife and 'butter' what's required and let us not forget the plate...and perhaps an egg or two. Well, having gone that far perhaps they could EAT it for the happy owner and truly streamline the whole thing!! 8]-

    2. DN4

      Re: According to recent Gartner data,

      > why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge?

      For the person making toasts or storing milk in the fridge, there is no reason. But as the means of surveillance (and thus implicit control), connected toasters and fridges may come handy.

    3. kryptylomese

      Re: According to recent Gartner data,

      Your toaster could tell your fridge that the toasters element is about to fail (or has failed) so your fridge could warn you that there is no point in trying to toast all that bread, and that you should eat the bread before it goes off.

      However, I have no idea what this has to do with Amazon Web Services :)

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: According to recent Gartner data,

        >"Your toaster could tell your fridge that the toasters element is about to fail "

        Alternately, you could simply buy an old fashioned toaster that consists of a heating element and a crude timer which will probably last longer than you will do because all of the money for building the thing went into the electronics and housing, rather than into overly delicate microelectronics in a place that there is absolutely no need for them.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: I have no idea what this has to do with Amazon Web Services

        Don't blame me.

        El Reg and Gartner were the ones who connected IoT to the continued growth of AWS.

        And why would the fridge know about the bread anyway? Keeping bread in the fridge makes it go bad faster than either freezing it or keeping it on a shelf in the cupboard.

        Right, never mind. That's the sort of logic the IoT avoids.

    4. itzman

      re: why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge'?

      Obviously to tell it to deliver another slice of bread to the microwave for defrosting.

      Unless of course it had a defrosted slice already in its JIT cache...

      1. king of foo

        Re: re: why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge'?

        Because we are Borg

        Bjorn: "I enjoy fashion."

    5. naive

      Re: According to recent Gartner data,

      The answer to that is simple, IoT is a basic prerequisite for creating higher level services. The vision that in 15-20 years it is possible to sit on the couch, and instruct the serving robot to make toasted sandwiches does not seem impossible. In order to enable this, the information that there are sandwiches and cheese should be available. Since this sounds all so much better then a grumpy wife mumbling "do it yourself", it will be a huge success.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: According to recent Gartner data,

      "but why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge?"

      Use case:

      User: Opens toaster to remove toast.

      Cat: Jumps on counter.

      User: String of swear words ensues.

      Toaster Listening: Maybe toast is burnt, reduce toasting time setting.

      Fridge: Maybe user burnt fingers, dispense ice immediately.

      Sink Tap: Turn water on for first aid assistance. Oops, sprays cat.

      Cat: Panics. Jumps on user, grips with claws.

      User: Leaves kitchen for work still swearing.

      Security System: Sees all. Master clearly hates cat - remember.

      Dishwasher: Confused, was it something I did? Why am I here?

      Security to Fridge: Open door.

      Cat: Sees tasty morsel. Yum!

      Security to Fridge: Close door.


      User: Comes home to a frozen cat dinner.

      And the world is a better place.

  3. James 100

    Talking Toasters

    Clearly, the Toaster needs connectivity so it can serenade you over VoIP about bagels, muffins and other toasted goodness. Just ask Lister how irritating that gets!

    I can see a little bit of appeal in some cases: boil the kettle on remote, start the dishwasher when it's cheap electricity time, check if the washing's finished yet. Not something I'd pay more than a couple of £ extra per device for of course, which is probably where all this will struggle...

    For AWS's scale, wasn't it El Reg telling us quite recently that Azure was generating nearly as much revenue as AWS? Why, yes, it was: just over $1.2bn versus just under $1bn for 2Q14, it said: - so how does that square with "bigger than the next 14 biggest, combined"?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Talking Toasters

      Except that over the years I've pretty much disciplined myself to run the dishwasher and do laundry at night, when electricity is cheap.

      IoT appliances leave me concerned that some local hacker is going to disable or run continously my dishwasher, just for shits and gigles and because he doesn't have to pay the utility bills or the repairman.

      1. Nym

        Re: Talking Toasters

        Actually, I get all my electricity from a bicycle generator.

        ...Let me know if you believed that.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Talking Toasters

      I'll give you an A for effort on trying to come up with good ideas.

      The problem of course is that for the most part, all of the device manufacturers have come up with cheaper ways to do that already or the idea is too dangerous to get approval. The dishwasher has a timer. Turning on the stove remotely is a huge, huge hazard even bigger than the oven and not nearly as practical on close examination as you might think (kettle still has to filled and on the correct burner). The only one that they don't have down cold is checking the washer to see if it's finished, and these days you can get some damn loud buzzers on the washer.

      1. Richard 111

        Re: Talking Toasters

        All this talk of talking toasters has made me want to read Stray Toasters again. Off to the attic to find them!

        As for AWS if you are running licensed software that is restricted to the a number of instances or CPU's and you run those instances 24/7 the cost will eclipse the purchase of a private local hardware within a year. If your software doesn't have these restrictions and can expand dynamically as needed then AWS might be just what you need.

  4. returnofthemus

    The shift to public cloud is about one number, is it really???

    "AWS can be a complex vendor to manage. Customers must ensure that they receive the level of sales and solution architecture engagement they need to be successful. AWS is a price leader, but it charges separately for optional items that are sometimes bundled with competing offerings; use of third-party cost management tools, such as RightScale Cloud Analytics and Cloudability, is highly recommended. AWS's support offerings are tiered based on the level of support that a customer purchases, rather than on a "relationship" or size-of-spend basis; customers need Business-tier support in order to ensure excellent support.

    AWS is spreading its efforts very broadly. Although many new services are highly successful, services that turn out to be of less interest to customers will not get the same depth of continued investment as more popular services".

    ***2015 Gartner MQ Cautions***

    Sounds to me there should be quite a few numbers one needs to consider before sky diving!

    1. Tom 13

      Re: a few numbers one needs to consider before sky diving!

      Only two actually, and only one of those is variable:

      1) The amount of time you will be in the air

      2) 9.8 meters per second per second.

      That's all you need to know how much of a splat you'll make when you hit.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT is not about control

    By some nefarious shady organisation, its about collecting information about how people behave and interact with devices. And that's because that information can be used to work out how to sell you more stuff. The reason AWS comes into this is because to spin up big data mining environments quickly public cloud is a pretty good fit, and in these scenarios who cares about data sovereignty or privacy - you inadvertently signed that away when you accepted the eula on your toaster.

    So basically its about selling you crap, whether that's a form of control or exploitation ill let you decide...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Cloud

    Somebody else's computers with your data on where the US spooks have full access. Good luck with that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About Matt Asay...

    Many of you are getting worked up about this article and Matt Asay. Really, you shouldn't. Here's why:

    1) Matt Asay has written the same article about a dozen times between ReadWrite, InfoWorld and The Register. THE SAME STORY. He likes getting a rise out of people. Congrats, you all took the bait.

    2) Matt Asay works for Adobe as VP of Mobile. Instead of writing about lessons learned from Adobe Creative Cloud's massive public cloud failures (, he writes about Private Cloud which he offers no first hand experience, just opinion.

    3) Matt Asay knowingly plays fast and loose with data. For instance, the Gartner poll he cites in EVERY article he writes was actually an electronic straw poll during a presentation at a Gartner Data Center Conference. It was NEVER intended to be Gartner Research. The poll about Private Cloud had 8 possible responses. Of those, 7 responses were negative to private cloud and reflected Thomas Bittman's (Gartner analyst) bias rather than audience response. Bittman himself conceded that the poll was not scientific or an actual Gartner survey, it was simply a straw poll. Matt Asay knows this and still uses it as conclusive research.

    4) Matt Asay is simply wrong. As hard as Matt Asay repeatedly tries to convince people that Private clouds are failures, IDC's research shows that both Public and Private clouds are growing nicely and at the exact same rate (this is actually research, not a straw poll):

    1. Bogle
      Thumb Up

      Re: About Matt Asay...

      To be fair, the majority of the commentards were more concerned about toasters!

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