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Larry Ellison vs The Cloud

Posted by Preston on 2009-10-04

This article came out on the 26th of September (US time), but since that was my birthday (27th, AU time), I feel justified in not noticing it straight away. I was otherwise occupied that day.

Nevertheless, CNET’s coverage of Larry Ellison on the cloud is worth a read. As periodic readers would notice, I don’t have a lot of time for the “cloud” concept; for the most part I equate it to The Emperor’s New Clothes. In fact, there’s a few distinctly different reasons why I dislike the cloud:

  • A lot of the hype resembles The Network Computer, previously espoused by Sun and chased as a dream that helped see them end up where they are today.
  • A lot of the remaining hype resembles things that we already to do. “Private cloud” is the biggest rip-off term I’ve ever heard in my life – vendors want to sell you private cloud computing? Unfortunately if you stick that “private cloud computing” label on “datacentre” all you’re going to do is add 20 – 50% for the cost for Buzzword Compliance.
  • The remaining hype seems to be about encouraging businesses to do things less safely. (As an example…) Sure, put all your business email and documents in Google. That never goes down.

The more I read about The Cloud, the more I’m convinced it’s The Next Buzzword. One thing I am certain of though is that Larry Ellison nails the cloud with the following quote:

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything else that isn’t cloud computing with all these announcements.”

In other words, people who want to be sucked in to pay an extra 30% for things they can already do within their private infrastructure, or want to push more and more of their infrastructure onto third parties whom they have little to no control over deserve all they get.


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