Ijust finished reading Randy Bias’s piece, “Elasticity is NOT #Cloud Computing … Just Ask Google“, and I must admit, it takes me back to all sorts of questions of a vaguely unsettling nature that have been bubbling below the surface of my cloudy thinking for some time.
If Elasticity is NOT Cloud Computing, and I profoundly disagree with that statement, then what the heck isCloud Computing? I admit to already having been pretty skeptical about whether Private Clouds are really Cloud Computing, but I got over that from an understanding of elasticity and private clouds. However, if we take away Elasticity, and make whatever is left Private, I’m not sure we have anything profound whatsoever. How does it differ from an outsourced data center, for example?
Randy seems to have come to his position about elasticity by looking at the large web operators like Amazon, Google and Salesforce who offer Cloud platforms of one kind or another (IaaS, PaaS, and the rest of the alphabet soup). He’s interested in their history, why they built the kind of infrastructure they did, and why that turned out to be an ideal platform from which to offer Cloud Computing offerings. My problem is that the mere fact that Amazon did not get the Elasticity benefit from its Cloud that AWS customers can does not in any way diminish the revolution that is the Cloud and that comes with Elasticity. Without customers, these fancy Amazon and Google data centers are literally the sound of One Cloud Thunderclapping (because Clouds don’t just clap in the sense of the old Zen saying).