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Most people in the industry today talk about cloud computing as a fait accompli, as something already done and deployed. I saw a lot of this kind of “breathing your own fumes” thinking with regard to VoIP around the year 2000. We were all going to our own little inbred kind of conferences, but in reality, VoIP was just starting to get deployed! There was so much more work to do, not the least of which was getting the technology into the deployed telephony products. If you live and breathe it all the time, you actually believe it. The industry just claimed victory before it should have. Today, we all take VoIP for granted. The visionaries certainly saw the future.
With cloud computing, I see some of the same phenomena. Some talk about it like everything is in the cloud already. In reality though, cloud computing, via its very close cousin “hosting,” has a proven track record, so while I see some similarities with VoIP, it’s also not the same. While familiarity with hosting hastens the understanding of the cloud computing concept because it implies a remote application, to me cloud computing also implies “pay as you go” – i.e., pay by what you use. Maybe you use a lot, maybe you use only a little, but whatever you use, it’s out there and you simply access it and pay for it as needed.
In one of my next blogs, I’ll talk about why this concept of cloud computing is more viable now than it was in the past.