freyyr890 wrote:I absolutely love this, because it helps expose all the overhyped marketing bullshit that "the cloud" is.
The cloud is the perfect marketing term: soft, indistinct, fluffy, and inviting. It's rapidly on its way to becoming the new High Definition or Web 2.0, as it's being improperly applied to just about every product imaginable. If a product somehow stores data on some server somewhere, it's now Cloud.
With the exception of actual elastic systems like Amazon E2, there's no new technology here (and elastic systems are really just VPSes that load balance nicely). They're also quite overpriced: Amazon charges $54/yr for their basic "micro" instance with two processor cores and 600 megs of RAM. For about the same price, you can get a budget OpenVZ VPS with one of the many cheap hosting companies out there with the same amount of RAM, access to 4-8 cores, and much better uptime - the most important thing of all in hosting. Plus, bandwidth is built into the cost of a VPS - Amazon charges fifteen cents per gigabyte, which will get expensive quite quickly.
tl;dr: Cloud is just more marketing kool-aid.
Well, yes and no. The term "cloud" is definitely being over- and mis-used, but I wouldn't agree that it's an entirely pointless term. It's just a new way of referring to data storage on a server somewhere, which is accessible from any location with an Internet connection. I'm not sure what's wrong with that - calling it "cloud" just gives it a nice friendly name that the average person can understand.
I think the rise in the use of the term reflects an increasing use of web storage, as apps become more and more focussed on making the same data accessible everywhere. You have to call it something.
Elastic VPSes such as Amazon or Rackspace offerings are actually very useful for certain sites and applications. Sure, if you can predict exactly how much traffic you're going to have, and want to have as close to 100% uptime as possible, you're probably better off with a traditional hosting solution. But if you're developing a site or application where the server traffic is going to fluctuate rapidly, then you can actually achieve greater uptime with a flexible solution because the server wont get overloaded during a traffic spike. And if you don't need the server running 24/7 (e.g. during development), it's a lot cheaper to only pay for the 8-10 hours a day that you actually use the server.
So yeah, the word cloud is getting massively overused and overhyped, just like AJAX and Web 2.0 before it. That's unavoidable with web technologies. There'll always be a million people out there who miss the point, and marketing departments wont care about the point if they can make more sales by misrepresenting the facts. But that doesn't render the term completely meaningless. There is some actual substance behind the cloud hype.