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April 30, 2013


Frank Brown


I like you and your blog. In fact you are one of the only plumbing blogs that I read. I say that not out of disrespect, but at the end of the day, I do view hardware folks as "plumbers" (hey I just hired one the other day to do all kinds of work in my house)

The bottom line is the term Cloud was originally about consumption, but was hijacked by the hardware companies to include operational and technology. I am not saying that those areas are not important,they clearly are, but they are NOT why the term Cloud originated. This is where I remember it from anyway http://www.johnmwillis.com/cloud-computing/who-coined-the-phrase-cloud-computing/

Keep up the great work!

Chuck Hollis

Hi Frank

There's no disrespect in referring to IT infrastructure as "plumbing". I do it all the time, although I'm sure I offend a few when I do.

Everyone needs plumbing. Getting it right is important. When the plumbing has a bad day, you have a bad day. Not everyone can do it. And so on.

I also think referring to it in that way gently reminds people that it's the payload that really matters, not the pipes :)

I would agree with you - the first large popularization of cloud concepts came from Nick Carr's "The Big Switch" (still a fun read), and he gave a great example around how power generation and consumption models changed at the beginning of the 20th century.

In retrospect, not all of his ideas panned out. But it got people thinking!

Thanks for the note!

-- Chuck


Great article Chuck. I've read a comment that Apple was the first to introduce the concept of the Cloud, does anyone know if this is true? It's amazing how technologies has shaped and changed our life, and where would the web performance take us in the future?

Rob Nieboer


Perhaps what Cloud, Big Data and Software-defined Storage have in common, is that, in an attempt to approach storage from an Agile perspective, they are all trying to do something about ease of deployment, ease of management, cost and ubiquity.

Automation, self-service, commoditization, rapid deployment and a consistent interface regardless of underlying technbology are business goals, not technology goals.

This is tough for vendors to work towards when they have a vested interest in providing the underlying hardware isn't it?


Rob Nieboer

Chuck Hollis

Paul --

I think you'd find violent disagreement as to whether Apple was the first to introduce cloud concepts. Most people would point to Amazon's AWS as the first popular service.

And you're right -- these are amazing times indeed.

Chuck Hollis

Rob --

I agree with most of your thoughts, except for one.

While you might think that IT vendors who sell hardware are motivated to "protect" their legacy, it's actually a bit different once you get close to it.

It's more "adapt or suffer the consequences".

Think about servers before virtualization, and after virtualization. I would argue that there's still a role for differentiated hardware (e.g. Cisco UCS) for vendors that embrace the new paradigm quickly.

All this great software has to run somewhere, and I believe that hardware designed for the newer software environments will be attractive into the future.

Rahul Aggarwal

Interesting article. But if you ask me, the concept pf Cloud is nothing new. It is just a new definition of what was there since the 80's when we used to have mainframes and dummy consoles working remotely ...

Rahul Aggarwal

Nice Article. However, my understanding of cloud is that it has been there since the earlier 80's. The only difference is that earlier it used to be in form of mainframes machines which used to connect with the dumb terminals whereas now we are have server farms feeding into billions of personal computers & Smartphones.

Kittur Nagesh

Great summary Chuck. I also liked your discussion on each vendor jockeying for positioning and leadership from their vantage point.

I believe our frame of reference glorifies or stymies our vision and innovation. Commented on this before.

Often, even within the same company, the leaders define the cloud differently and no two are the same. Therefore, cloud strategy is nebulous at best!

I like the lenses you brought out in your essay. Great suggestion to view the technology/app through the value chain members and point out WIFY. We will then link whatever we define as cloud into benefits for our customers.

I am guilty too! I often have said mobility and cloud are two sides of the same coin.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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