It’s official: “Cloud” is nothing more than vendor hype

I’m always skeptical when pundits start throwing around words in attempts to show the world just how fast the IT world is changing. Back in the 90’s, everything was branded with the word “Internet” (I actually saw a computer desk for sale at Staples during this craze that was advertised as an “internet computer desk”) and in the 2000’s even to now, “web 2.0” has been all the rage. More recently, we’ve been subjected to cloud hype. Everything is the cloud! By 2016, companies won’t run anything in their quaint, antiquated data centers; everything will simply run in the cloud. No more need for pesky IT departments and expensive data centers.

Interestingly enough, there are a lot of vendors with huge stakes in their cloud plays making these kinds of claims and, recently, even the definition of the term “cloud” has been subject to debate with some saying that clouds can exist only outside an organization’s firewalls and other vendors, such as VMware, urging companies to build private clouds, elastic data centers and so forth.

For years, organizations have been building internal virtual infrastructures in order to reduce costs and make IT more flexible when it comes to meeting business needs. While I agree that moving some services to external providers can make sense, this cloud hype cycle (which we used to call outsourcing, hosted services and SaaS) is reaching ridiculous levels. When there are vendors out there arguing over what should and shouldn’t be called cloud, something is broken.

So, before you ditch all of your ESX or Hyper-V hosted services for cloud-based services, look beyond the hype. “Cloud” will not always be the answer when it comes to meeting business needs.

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