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Laurent Chades

Decoding the Cloud Computing hype

Posted on January 16th, 2010 by Laurent Chades

In the previous post I introduced Cloud. It is now considered that Cloud Computing encompasses the following:

But some people consider that Software as a Service and Platform as a Service are not Cloud. In a discussion at the Churchill Club in september 2009, Larry Ellison (Oracle CEO) declared that SaaS like already existed 10 years ago (see references at the bottom).

I could also quote an example from my own experience. Indeed, in 2003 my colleagues and I started to work on Telco Enablers platforms. These projects aimed at selling access to web services provided by Telco companies (SMS sending, subscriber locating, …). But in 2003 nobody talked about Platform as a Service and Cloud Computing.

One year before the Churchill Club discussion, in september 2008, Larry Ellison denounced the growing hype :

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The interesting thing about cloud computing is that it is either going to be or already is the most important computing architecture in the world because we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we currently do. [...] I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements. [...] The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion.

Larry Ellison

And he’s completely right! Do you remember the SOA hype? Few years ago, everything was Service Oriented. And there were also the e-business, the PC replacing passive terminals, …

Some experts at the EmTec conference in 2009, tried to define what is cloud. They generally agreed that cloud computing involves software running off premises. Ok, so, I’m proud to announce that I was doing cloud in 1998 with my webmail study project at engineer school! Actually it was a poor copy of HotMail who could claim the paternity of cloud with its mail client application running outside the premises of its users at the end of the 90s. As you probably guessed, this brilliant definition of cloud was issued by people from the companies having stakes in the new trend.

But my purpose here is not to convince you that Cloud Computing is an empty concept. Cloud computing is based on an old idea: it’s just about being able to easily dispose of externalized resources and pay for them just when you need them. And the technology is now able to deliver this.

The problem is that everyone wants to be associated with this new market, renaming what they are doing to pretend they invented technology. Cloud is then the new golden hammer. But this is not a reason to act as a roadblock, as any tool, Cloud can bring value to the business. It’s all about applying the right tool on the right situation.


  • Industry giants Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, and Ed Zander, former CEO, Motorola, and former president of Sun Microsystems, take the stage in this rare, unscripted discussion. This discussion is very interesting and covers a wide range. The discussion about cloud stands at 44:40.

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