Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Services (Which one RMS calls stupid?)

Posted on October 22, 2008  /  0 Comments

Thanks Steve for pointing it. We stand corrected. LIRNEasia does NOT use ‘Cloud Computing’, but is only a user of ‘Cloud Services’. Though both appears to be synonymous to a layman – and Wikipedia is yet to recognize the differentiation (type ‘Cloud Services’ and you will be directed to former) – we are told there still is a difference.

Cloud Computing = you put your applications to ‘cloud’. If you want a more detailed definition refer to IDC which says ‘Cloud Computing’ is an emerging IT development, deployment, and delivery model, enabling real-time delivery of products, services, and solutions over the Internet. In Simple terms, this is like a firm shifting their ERP package to cloud. That is NOT what LIRNEasia does. Our Finance Department has no ERP, but whatever the package it uses we have no intentions of ‘clouding’ it.

On the other hand, what we do is to use a gamut of ‘Cloud Services’ or SaaS (Software as a Service). That is the basket LIRNEasia puts all its eggs. If Internet goes down one day we will have lots of problems, but of course Internet, by the very nature of it will not fail so easily like, er…the US economy.

What is a ‘Cloud Service’? It is not as simple as ‘using something on the web’. IDC has given eight criteria to be met if you offer a ‘Cloud Service’. (See above)

The question still remains: What exactly RMS calls ‘more than stupidity’? Is it clouding your applications (which obviously has a downside when it comes to security and reliability – but these can’t be what bothers RMS when he talks about ‘losing control’) or using ‘Cloud Services’? It is strange if it happens to be the latter, because Cloud Services are increasingly becoming public goods. (Gmail is non-excludable and virtually non-rivaled)

BTW, IDC also predicts ‘Cloud Services’ will be a $42 billion industry by 2012.

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