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BLOG: Cloud computing – Why semantics matter

Andrew Milroy | Oct. 17, 2011
If people are to invest millions of dollars in new products and services, it is important that we share common definitions.

Inevitably, these same companies will purchase (public) cloud services at an increasing rate over the next decade and can be expected to use these services where it is at all possible, given the huge benefits offered. These companies will be looking to partner with technology companies that can optimise their internal IT architectures and integrate these technologies with the (public) cloud services that are being used.

More confusion with hybrid cloud

I've heard people use the term hybrid cloud to describe these environments. This creates even more confusion. As far as I can gather, a hybrid cloud means everything. It means all of your on-site technology plus all of the resources that you source from (public) cloud providers. It is a term that offers little value. In fact, just about all IT infrastructures could be called hybrid.
So, companies are seeking ways in which their internal IT resources can share some of the characteristics of (public) clouds, given that this is becoming increasingly feasible and cost effective.

Organisations are also looking at migrating an increasing proportion of their resources into the (public) cloud. The integration of (public) cloud resources with internal resources is a key challenge and opportunity for organisations. Cloud-related discussions should indeed focus on these issues.

But, in order to do this, it helps us enormously if we communicate more clearly and call a cloud, a cloud and we call internal resources what they are. There is plenty of terminology that can help us to do this. The term private cloud continues to create a lot of confusion and a lot of debate. I am sure that this nonsensical term will eventually be dumped. I hope that this happens soon.

This article was authored by: Andrew Milroy, vice president, ICT practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific


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