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What is this new technology that everyone is racing to embrace?

Wikipedia has a good explanation:

Cloud computing refers to the provision of computational resources on demand via a computer network. Users or clients can submit a task, such as word processing, to the service provider, such as Google, without actually possessing the software or hardware. The consumer's computer may contain very little software or data (perhaps a minimal operating system and web browser only), serving as little more than a display terminal connected to the Internet. Since the cloud is the underlying delivery mechanism, cloud based applications and services may support any type of software application or service in use today.

Some references are made to "Software as a Service"  (SaaS)  to explain the Cloud.

NIST however states it this way:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a concise and specific definition:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.[1]


In plain terms, what does this mean?

Cloud Computing is nothing more than Outsourcing your IT needs to another.  Period, nothing more.

You can argue all you want on various terminologies, phrases and what this is.  But when push comes to shove, the term "The Cloud" is nothing more than a fancier term for outsourcing!

We look to outsourcing for programming, Web Hosting It Management, Security Management and a slew of other things.  Now we look to move parts of or a complete IT structure to Outsourcing.

What are the dangers?  Has anyone really honestly written an article on these issues?  I'll try to post some thoughts and point out some issues with this rush to the unknown.

Oh, and let it be known, I started using the term "Cloud Burst" as a way to describe the impending failure of "the Cloud", back in 2000 or as early as 1995.  It was my way of explaining in this new term what sooner or later will prove to be a tremendous mistake.

No I am not a fan of outsourcing. It takes a away jobs and introduces a great deal of unknown risks.  Some risks as so masked in rhetoric and sales pitches that to me, this is exactly the story of the Emperor's new Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson.

Gartner, tries to sum it up with 7 Cloud Computing Security Risks.  I believe there are a great deal more and we are not even going to talk about placing your Applications in the Cloud.  That subject is so deep that they still can't find the bottom of it.

For any Business,  Organization or Government Agency (Federal, State or Local), you had better do your homework on these risks. Learn to look past all of the hype and see the risks clear and precise.  If you do not, you are going to have something bite you so hard,  a Great White Shark is going to be jealous!

I guess the bottom line is how much savings do you create when you hand off your business, infrastructure and applications to an unknown entity?

Do the savings out weight the risks and damage from loss of business, reputation, data?




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