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Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011

Let’s get real about the cloud

Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated? This week, a few of my fellow editors and I spent more time than reasonable people would expect trying to work out a definition for the term “cloud washing.” Trying to steer clear of using obvious (and probably accurate) words like “bunk” and “nonsense,” we eventually cobbled together a definition that seemed to do the trick without insulting anybody all that much. But I learned a valuable lesson along the way: This cloud thing is a squirmy, squishy-squashy thing, and getting our arms around it ain’t gonna be easy. If it’s so hard to define a term about how vendors are twisting the meaning of “cloud” to obfuscate and ultimately (they hope) convince you their old products are new now that they have “cloud” in their names, it’s bound to be just as hard to define what cloud truly is. Right now, it’s pretty confusing. Another thing I’ve learned is that the vendors doing most of the cloud washing are really cloud wishing, as in wishing they ...

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