Finally, a technology executive willing to tell the truth about cloud computing. Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison said that the computer industry is more fashion-driven than women's fashion and cloud computing is simply the latest fashion. The Wall Street Journal quoted the Oracle CEO's remarks:
"The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we've redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can't think of anything that isn't cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?
"We'll make cloud computing announcements. I'm not going to fight this thing. But I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud."
I led a panel at the MIT Emerging Technology Conference earlier this week on cloud computing with some of the leaders in the field: David P. Anderson, research scientist, University of California at Berkeley; Matthew Glotzbach, product management director, Google; Parker Harris, EVP, Technology, Salesforce.com; Mendel Rosenblum, chief scientist and co-founder, VMware; and Werner Vogels, VP and CTO, Amazon.com. The group generally agreed that cloud computing involves software running off premises, but that there are different workloads and kinds of scenarios.
The problem is that every tech company now wants to be associated with cloud computing, no matter if their products and services meet the basic criteria. At least Ellison isn't afraid to address the hijacking of the phrase by marketers, including Oracle's.
Frank Gillett of Forrester speaks about the cloud envy of various companies who jump on the cloud computing bandwagon by rebranding existing services in this interview with Beet.TV.