Final CloudConnect Report: The Emperor Has No Cloud

Remember the tale of the Emperor’s new clothes? Weavers convince the emperor that only stupid people cannot see the cloth. The emperor proceeds to wear the invisible apparel in a parade until a child remarks on his nakedness.

So too with Cloud Computing. Everybody says they’re doing Cloud or offering Cloud or whatnot, but precious little Cloud was visible at all at the conference. One speaker asked the audience who was implementing Private Cloud, and a few dozen hands went up. Then he asked how many of those were implementing automated self-service (an essential Cloud characteristic), and all the hands went down. Not one Private Cloud was actually a Cloud. Virtualized data centers every one.

OpenStack is missing half its pieces, in spite of all the OpenStack “Clouds” out there. VMware vCloud fails to provide elasticity or other Cloud benefits, in spite of its name. Purported Enterprise Public Cloud vendors like Verizon Terremark and Savvion are similarly missing numerous bits and pieces of what makes IaaS IaaS. Implementing automated provisioning and management requires a mishmash of immature open source tools. The list goes on and on.

Why so many naked emperors parading down the CloudConnect aisle? The answer: Amazon Web Services (AWS). Apparently, AWS is the only Cloud player with any clothes to speak of. Not only did they invent IaaS, they actually got it to work. Not just bits and pieces, but the entire business model of the Cloud. Not only is no one challenging AWS’s dominance — no one even comes close.

Sure, other players have a few articles of clothing. A shoe here, a sleeve there at most. And there’s no question they’re frantically working to assemble the wardrobe. But no one wanted to point out that Cloud doesn’t work piecemeal. Sure, eventually they’ll get it right. But by then AWS will be that much further ahead.

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