OT: Cloud Computing is coming to ...

Christopher A. Williams chriswfedora at cawllc.com
Sun Jul 25 22:17:16 UTC 2010

On Tue, 2010-07-27 at 05:34 +0600, Ariful Hossain wrote:

> I dont understand cloud very well.  I just have a ubuntu one account
> which is supposed to be private  cloud.
> I just wanna if all the applications run on servers then the general
> users can be at submission and monopolistic business can rise from it.
> May be my thought is wrong bcz of my lack of understanding of this
> technology.  I just dont like to think in future computing will be like
> buying a dumb display and input devices and a "public cloud" cable will
> bring the apps to work with.  
> In computer industry when a new killer technology rises, it also give
> rise to a monopoly(60,70s IBM or now MS)....i fear that same thing will
> happen to cloud if it could become a killer technology. 

Perhaps this will help. Let's start with a definition of Cloud
Computing, as we define it where I work:

        Cloud Computing is a style of computing in which dynamically
        scalable, virtualized resources are provided as a service either
        within an organization or over the Internet.

If you check, our definition is actually pretty close to the NIST
definition, but is shorter. We also did ours first. :) At any rate, once
you define cloud computing, you then can define services that are cloud
based. The most common ones people hear or talk about are:

IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service (ex. Amazon, Ubuntu One, ...)
PaaS - Platform as a Service (ex. Microsoft Azure)
SaaS - Software as a Service (ex. Salesforce.com)

We then also talk about private, public, and hybrid cloud environments.
Private clouds exist exclusively inside of an organization and are
controlled exclusively by that organization. Public clouds are
controlled by a 3rd party and resources/services on them are essentially
rented to you. Hybrid clouds refer to a blend of private and public
clouds that essentially are used and managed as a single entity by you,
with SLAs that are agreed to by the 3rd party provider of the public

...So, since you said you have a server that you provisioned with your
Ubuntu One account and run yourself, that means Ubuntu One is actually a
Public Cloud offering where you are buying IaaS.

The fact of the matter is, external public cloud environments -
particularly those that provide IaaS - are not that much different in
terms of what they do than traditional hosting and colo facilities do
now. The main difference is that the resources are virtualized on shared
hardware infrastructure. The cost of providing this kind of service is
much lower than traditional colo hosting, and those costs are generally
passed on to the end consumer.

The key here is that the cost is still higher than building a cloud
inside your own house and taking advantage of the same savings that way.
That's part of why private clouds are becoming more popular. Why would I
trust a 3rd party to host systems and/or applications for me when I can
do the same thing myself for less money and have complete control over
everything? If I have more than a few servers to host, the break-even
point is pretty low.

This situation is also driving public cloud prices lower by the way.
Originally, the public cloud providers were pricing based on savings
over traditional hosting. In reality, the market price is driven by the
cost of running your own cloud, which is also very cheap.

Very large organizations are trending towards private clouds with a very
low volume of public cloud for one-off projects that have low
sensitivity in terms of security. Small businesses are starting to lean
this way as well.

Individual users will tend to not need any of this technology - save
that a server on a public cloud is pretty easy to get hold of and play
around with for not a lot of cash compared to buying hardware. That
means it will likely stay ad-hoc and very low volume.

Hope that helps clarify a little more!


PS: While I am quoting some limited information we use in my company for
public consumption, the opinions expressed here remain exclusively my


"If you are calm while all around you is chaos,
then you probably haven't fully understood
the magnitude of the situation."


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