Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Can We Cut the Cloud Computing Overhype?

Let's Focus on Specific Benefits, not Snake Oil Cures

Hype is the enemy of success. But people just can't seem to help themselves, so new developments are invariably hyped. This is as true in the technology business as in any business in the world.

Cloud Computing is the latest new development to get hyped mercilessly. Two years ago, a handful of companies were talking about a new way of doing things, a way that was in essence Grid Computing with Attitude. But Grid Computing sounds geeky and borgish; something best left for simulating nuclear explosions, perhaps.

Today there is not a single technology company lacking a Cloud Computing strategy, whether real or ostensible, as far as I can tell. All these solutions are either unique, compelling, or ideal. The situation reminds me a bit of hyperinflation; when there are too many units of currency (or units of hype) to meet market needs, each unit has little or no value.

To be fair, most Cloud presentations I've seen from vendors recently do define what specific challenges they address, and how they solve them. But it would be nice to have a standard map of common IT scenarios and processes to which Cloud can be applied, with vendors pointing to precisely where in these scenarios their products fit.

Maybe it's just a simple matter of staying with the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS progression.

The Hype Cycle
The trouble is, Cloud Computing has now reached the Peak of Expectations portions of the Gartner hype cycle chart. It may have reached this more quickly than almost anything previously.

When I first saw this chart, in the mid-90s, I bust out laughing. I thought it was a hilarious, satiric commentary on the industry. I thought the Trough of Disillusionment was a scream. No one else in this particular room was laughing. People were taking this thing dead seriously.

It was at this point in time I realized that I needed to a.) remember that humor is not allowed in Silicon Valley, except by Steve Wozniak, and b.) start taking ridiculous graphics seriously, or c.) go back to the sportswriting career of my very, very early days.

I decided to stick with the tech industry. Most coaches and athletes aren't really funny, either, and they take their charts even more seriously than do tech execs.

Yet this chart does point out an obvious truth; overhype something and you're going to be disappointed. We writers and events producers are as guilty as anyone of creating hype, and it should stop.

I would think the Web 2.0 phenomenon has been the most overhyped industry term in recent years. Originally set out as a concrete, detailed set of principles, this horse got out of the barn before anyone realized it had grown big enough to escape its pen. Web 2.0 has vaguely become an equivalent to social networking, another overhyped phenomenon.

Companies certainly can benefit from increased customer feedback, from a smart Twitter page, or the occasional video that "leaks" onto YouTube. None of these ideas are original, though; they're only sped up and made more accessible by modern invention.

Sneaky Snake-Oil Snakes
The fact is, we're in a renewed era of snake-oil peddling. Way back in the 1970s and 80s, snake-oil peddling was viewed with amusement as purely a 19th-century anachronism. How could people back then been so stupid and gullible? In our modern times, it was confined to matchbook covers, sleazy little classified ads in the back of comic books, and the occasional late-night TV commercial on those stations that didn't sign off with the national anthem at 1am.

Yet today, the craft is back, and not only through disreputable, sleazy email spam. It's there on every technology-company website, in every press release found in google searches, and may some day be what kills Twitter. Are people today still so stupid and gullible? Or does the extremely low cost of pumping effluvia through the Internet just make it seem so?

Thus, the hype cycle. Web 2.0. Social networking. Before that, the entire dot-com era and the belief that the cute little Java programming language was going to be the lingua franca of technology and change the world.

And now, Cloud Computing.

Rules? In a Knife Fight?
I want to believe in Cloud Computing, I really do. After all, my business card says I'mone of the editors of Cloud Computing Journal. So I must believe in it, right?

Yes, I do, and here are a few proposed rules that I think would be very helpful to the cause:

* Round-file the terms private, public, and hybrid. They are either imprecise and/or meaningless, and are no longer helpful in any case.

* Get away from speeds and feeds and talk about what a product or solution will do. Microsoft was onto something when it asked "Where do you want to go today?"

* Realize that this is often an accounting discussion. Don't focus on the huge cost savings as much as the difference between capital expenditures and operational expense.

* Realize that when it's not an accounting discussion, it's a point-solution discussion. What specific area can you address? It's OK to admit if you're only talking about mirroring a server, outsourcing a non-realtime app, or just selling a little insurance policy. Don't come into someone's joint and scare them by saying the latest paradigm shift is on and that they'll be roadkill in one of Ted Stevens's tubes along Al Gore's Internet highway if they don't listen to you.

* Respect the law. As an example, I just read an article in The New York Times that expressed exasperation with EU regulations that require Cloud servers to be located either on EU territory or in a shortlist of countries (the US was one of these). Well, why not? You know that companies, if given the chance, will locate their servers in Somalia if they think they can save a nickel. I'm with the Euros on this one.

* Realize that you won't win every sale. This is anathema to the business, and one reason why I'm not a technology salesperson. Yes, I watched the movie adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross, and loved Tin Men as well. But there's a greater good, and that is that Cloud Computing as a whole will benefit if you live the dictum that your customers come first and are always right.

The Rising Tide
As I've written before, I've spent much of the past two years in a developing country, which has given me a non-US view of the challenges much of the world's population faces, day in and day out. I've learned that many countries' political leaders are much more quick to play the pity card--please help us, we are so poor--and the guilt card--British (or American) colonialism caused all our problems--than are members of the general population.

Intellectuals in my resident country fulminate now and then about the sins of the great powers, but the masses don't. They know their lives are hard, so they get up, get to work, and try to do something about it. They welcome any new luxury. It reminds me of the time in the US when almost no one had air-conditioning; that didn't mean people enjoyed suffering in the heat. The same is true where I live.

It is in these places that I think Cloud Computing has its greatest potential for good. A relative lack of legacy IT may make it easier to deploy Cloud-smart applications and infrastructure. The slashing of capital expenditure requirements should make it easier to afford said solutions and (virtualized) infrastructure. And there are plenty of aspirations in developing countries; the people would like to go many, many places today.

Many of these places are lacking in any sort of government transparency, and often have restrictions on foreign investment and ownership that are shortsighted and harmful. Yet, all of the big technology companies are here, along with many of the smaller ones. No reason to get hyperbolic about how Cloud will save childrens' lives or liberate impoverished people; most people ask only that their lives suck a little bit less.

Cloud can play a big role in making for a better life here and in other developing countries, to be sure. It is my hope that its ability to do so is not overhyped.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.