back to article The cloud is not new. What we are doing with it is

In the 10 years since the modern form of public cloud computing went mainstream, it has changed the entire industry's approach to IT. In response, IT's top vendors have had to change as well. Like any technology, however, the public cloud has adapted, evolved, and become something much different than was ever originally …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge


    One issue with commoditisation or the more general "utility supply" model for IT is it is rather different from most other things we have. Take electricity or gas as a good example, unless you are in the middle of nowhere or have some absolutely critical system you don't have your own generator, and only proper IT places even consider a UPS to allow for glitches in supply and orderly shut down. The reason of course is that the supply of such things is to a simple standard and with very little difference its the same from any utility world wide. Same for food, we are pretty much omnivores so can easily change to what food is on offer from any supplier.

    But with IT we have the continued issue of lock-in, either from APIs that only one vendor supports (properly and fully, maybe not even that) or from a growing archive of unique data that becomes a major issue to migrate. And no one is really up for paying for two redundant cloud suppliers "just in case" the brown stuff meets that rotating air mover. In sort, we can't simply move from one supplier to another with ease, except for a few very basic cases like backup storage.

    Sure with on-site stuff we still have a form of lock-in as its rarely simple to replace stuff without changes, but we are not normally in a position of an external supplier being in control of what we can do with it. With the cloud they can (and often do) make changes that you have no control over, and can shut you down or price you out of competition more easily because they have your data.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Commoditisation


      If you can't swap one cloud for another with minimal impact, it isn't a commodity, its just a vendor with product in different sizes.

      Take storage: disk drives - they are a commodity. Common interfaces and multiple vendors with near-as-makes-no-difference features, make that so. but cloud storage is not - stupid non-layered architectures.

  2. Mage

    Indeed not new

    Just 1960s rented timeshare.

    Except now stuff is being outsourced or run on "Cloud" which absolutely is a disaster waiting to happen.

    No core business function, Point of Sale, Billing system. Infrastructure control, ATM, ERP etc should be "in the cloud" or even outsourced at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indeed not new

      No .. surely not .. running your code on another companies computers is never a problem. Just ask how Virgin Atlantic got on with this one using BA's booking system .. it all worked so well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not what was promised...

    On the whole, I agree with the comments made about what we were promised - first-generation clouds didn't always meet expectations, particularly for the enterprise. The second-generation clouds that are are offering something different though - a platform on which to build, rather than just the 'commodity' IT.

    It's the bigger, slower-to-market vendors that are learning from the mistakes of the first-generation, offering what we really want and making the most of the cloud.

    1. DonL

      Re: Not what was promised...

      It needs to have a real standard to become a commidity. Only once you are able to (continuously) replicate incremental VM/storage snapshots among cloud providers and your own datacenter and are able to live migrate VM's between clouds and your own datacenter, then the cloud will be ready.

      Until then, (unless you have a very specific business case) it's best to stay on-premise and just wait it out.

  4. revilo

    from commodity to addiction

    The commodity analogy is maybe not the right one. Compare it with hookers baiting addicts. We are still in the buy-in phase, where stuff is cheap. Once there is no essential local IT any more and the smaller players have died, the big cloud dealers will be able to ask much more (we see that already for ISP providers in the US where there is very little competition and so extremely high prizes). Having access to virtually all business data (even if encrypted, access to the IT structure, size and traffic can give a good picture about the health of a company) will allow to sell valuable "stock market information". Some recent studies (techconsult) have shown that many businesses still resist due to "Bauchgefuehl" and some scold it as irrational. But this "guts feeling" is actually nothing else than common sense. It applies to businesses which do innovative things, it applies to universities, journalism, government, politics or health. In the world of the cloud, it might be impossible to have an edge in innovation for more than a few days and impossible for a person with minor health issue to get a job. We have seen again and again how easy it is to have data leaked. Having data controlled in a central way, it might even lead be a sudden simultaneous blow of many businesses, if a larger cloud evaporates due to a glitch or mischief. And its not clear sky then, but pitch dark. Maybe one comforting silver lining: one will at least be able to blame somebody else.

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