Monday, October 15, 2012

At last ... a great definition for cloud computing

I'm not a fan of the term 'cloud computing' nor the umpteen number of definitions. I don't like NIST's mechanistic definition of 'cloud computing' which misses the nuances and so I prefer to stick with 'computer utilities' (as described by Parkhill in his 1966 book).

A definition of 'cloud computing' has to consider the economic changes due to the evolution of computing infrastructure (a technology activity) to more of a utility but at the same time it has to be mindful of niches and the different organisational and security requirements (resulting in various forms of hybrid environments) during the transition. Many of these won't last (it is a transition after all) but they need to be considered.

Somehow, in all of this time, I've missed this wonderfully simple definition of 'cloud computing' by Ramnath K. Chellappa in 1997 at INFORMS

All, I can say is this definition is almost perfect in simplicity and at the same time incredibly sophisticated in nuance (and vagueness). It also happens to be the first known definition of 'cloud computing' (being in 1997) and as far as I'm concerned it has been downhill since then.