[LINK] 'A short history of cloud computing outages'

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Oct 14 16:50:00 AEDT 2009

Ivan Trundle wrote:
> Isn't using IMAP really just part of cloud computing? Or using GMail 
> on the web? Or Facebook?
> Curious, since some people are reading more into this than I am.
NIST have a definition of cloud computing which some people consider to 
be reasonably definitive. It's at:

It starts off with two notes:

Note 1: Cloud computing is still an evolving paradigm. Its definitions, 
use cases, underlying technologies, issues, risks, and benefits will be 
refined in a spirited debate by the public and private sectors. These 
definitions, attributes, and characteristics will evolve and change over 

Note 2: The cloud computing industry represents a large ecosystem of 
many models, vendors, and market niches. This definition attempts to 
encompass all of the various cloud approaches.
Definition of Cloud Computing:
And then here's the definition:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network 
access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., 
networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be 
rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or 
service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and 
is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and 
four deployment models.

The rest of the document defines the essential characteristics and the 

The mainframe timesharing model of the 70's can fit this definition. The 
only thing new is the degree and speed of configurability of the 

If you find yourself talking to a Cloud Computing evangelist (and you 
have my sympathies) just ask them about the downside or dangers of cloud 
computing. Their reply should be illuminating. It doesn't matter what 
they say as long as they have some appreciation of the problems. If they 
haven't thought about them and can't tell you something, then just smile 
and walk away. You've probably got better uses for your time.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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