With Cloud Computing entering – possibly – its puberty, there is much discussion in the blogs and via Twitter as to its exact definition. Much has been written on the subject and there are some extremely good blogs etc out there dealing with the point.
The problem, to my mind, is that – I suppose by virtue of the nature of the subject – many of them are essentially technical in nature and thus to the average potential cloud user somewhat esoteric.
For the mainstream end user a simple definition is required to make the concept more understandable and thus more acceptable.
I have blogged previously about the Touring Test as coined by John Paterson, which defined a true SaaS (and thus a cloud) product thus:
“Next time you are on holiday, walk into the hotel lobby and log on to your application using whatever machine and browser they have. If you can access all the data and all the functionality in your SaaS application immediately, without having to download any extra software, it’s a true SaaS product.”
At the time the definition was criticised as being an over simplifcation but as time has progressed I feel that it accurately defines Cloud Computing. Web applications such as Google mail, Picassa, and even Twitter – are all applications with everyday appeal and which run in the cloud. Many users probably will not appreciate that these are the Concept made real – yet their popularity serve to enhance the Cloud.
I have just installed a Cloud based operating system -Jolicloud – on to my netbook and as most of the applications that I tend to use are web based, this is Cloud as it is meant to be.
Certainly the complex technicalities are important and will become more so as office IT infrastructures move into the cloud, but for the rest of us – keep it simple.