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July 2013, Volume 2, Number 7

With cloud technologies, pay attention to the man behind the curtain

Remember when Dorothy and friends finally -- finally! -- made it to the Emerald City? It was opulent, but the Great and Powerful Oz wasn't quite as expected. In today's IT, The Almighty Cloud is our Oz. We venture toward it, full of hope that it will magically solve all known IT problems. It won't, of course. But also remember: However untrue Oz's hype, the wizard ultimately helped Dorothy and friends. They got where they needed to go, if not how they initially expected. Cloud technologies are the same. They're transformative, but first we must pull back the curtains. There is no cloud The cloud is not a real thing; it's an abstraction for flexible, network-savvy, on-demand services. There are entirely real and successful implementations, but in essence, it's a style of operation. And unlike the Internet, there is no single unified cloud. Not every endpoint can meaningfully communicate with every other endpoint. There are many cloud service providers -- Amazon Web Services, Cloud Foundry, Engine Yard, Force.com, GoGrid, Google, ...

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