Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A stable taxonomy ... please

Cloud computing is a consequence of the transition of IT from a product to a service based economy. The concepts behind it are simple enough, and it's not even something new having first been discussed in the 1960s. However, a major problem with the cloud today is confusion.

There exists a plethora of different terms and mental constructs for the same problem. Hence I've been pushing the case for a clear taxonomy, James Urquhart agrees and so does Reuven. This industry desperately needs people to be talking from the same page, I've personally had enough of the *aaS and *OA wars.

Back in 2007, I gave a keynote at OSCON where I talked about the three layers of the computing stack (which we called software, framework & hardware) and how this affected utility computing. This was based upon much older ideas. Within twelve months utility changed to cloud, each of the layers were renamed and the stack was now a cloud triangle.

Now there is nothing wrong with this triangle, it's the same concept of componentisation. My concern is what is this going to degenerate into in a further twelve months? An n-dimensional bubblegum chart?

Whilst Randy argues against a one size fits all taxonomy, I'm not sure who he is arguing against. Any taxonomy must consider componentisation and how the shift from products to services effects all the layers of the computing stack / triangle / paisley coloured bubblegum graph or whatever we end up with. In the last year, I've seen plenty of execution in cloud computing but very few new concepts. However during this time there's been an awful lot of renaming and revisions.

We need a common language.

4 comments:

PO said...

I agree with you. I'm currently trying to find a common theory/definition of a service (for my thesis). The taxonomy can't only be related to the computer industry, so the research goes also into marketing and operations management fields, to try to get some insight of what is the common understanding of services.

Even tought it is still very poor on content, I will be posting some interesting things during the next month here: http://serviceorganization.wordpress.com.

swardley said...

I'll keep an eye on that

Fawad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jona said...

In the IT industry, the most prevailing problem has been the monotonous work and repetition of ideas. A stable taxonomy is what every IT person would like where orderly classification is done based on natural behaviors. Ideas that are still consistent with the ones presented in the 1960s actually speak a lot for the industry and its so-called innovation and futuristic developments. For the same reason, I had a dissertation made on this same issue that is prevalent. However, I do need the Best IT dissertation proofreading services UK to help me achieve the highest rank and it reaches the concerned pupils where it might have any effect.