What is a cloud?

I’m working on a simple formula to describe clouds and cloud computing. After working through numerous blogs and posts, reading vendors press releases and visiting their websites, I feel confident enough to give a first try:

What do you think about this:

Cloud = Computers*x + Virtualization + Automation + Service

where x depends on the cpu power of the utilized machines.

I’m begging for comments.



  1. Good “morning” Roland,
    as we have discussed previously, I think there should actually be two “types” of clouds. First the pure clouds like Google – and to mention it right away, these are grids as well – and second the “compromise” clouds. So what is it I am trying to say? A pure cloud is an architecture, where the cloud management software is also the “operating system” that any applications of the cloud are executed on. Such a system can access resources very dynamically and perform parallel computing without application designers caring about it – sounds like a grid, doesn’t it? – but the cloud adds all the features on the pure technology you have described. a “compromise” cloud is a construct that allows “legacy” systems and applications to run on a “cloud concept architecture”. The compromise in this case is, that the cloud manager is only responsible for resource management, not for managing the application execution and instruction distribution on a program level.
    Where a pure cloud only works in “closed shops” – people develop for the cloud – a “compromise” cloud works for most things we see today and therefore this compromise cloud also includes different OSs (virtual or just managed by the cloud manager). Maybe we should discuss this with John Willis, I would really be interested in the opinion of the guys from the “IT Management and Cloud Blog“.

  2. As I learned since, Automation may not be part of the basic cloud package, so one might want to add on some management software/service like Elastra or Mosso. Read the post about Elastra on my personal blog, if you want learn something about the Clouds taken to the next level.

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