Clouds Over Cloud Computing? Raining On The Hype Parade
What’s In A Name? What’s In A Function? What’s In The Hype?
By Imran Anwar
A recent blog entry on Internet Evolution by Mary Jander, titled “Clouds May Finally Be Forming for IT” recently caught my attention. Mary wrote about how companies have started looking at cloud computing as an infrastructure platform for their business.
That got me thinking about the very concept of cloud computing – as it is being foisted upon the industry and business. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the Internet and its power since before it became a commercial entity in the United States. It was for this reason that I elected to pioneer and be founder of Internet e-mail in Pakistan nearly 2 decades ago.
I also do not wish to sound like one of those “everything that can be invented has been invented” naysayers. However, even as the technology lover and evangelist, sometimes I see the industry shooting itself in the foot by simply renaming, repackaging, re-hyping concepts every few years.
Obviously, technology has been moving forward at a rapid pace every decade. Back in the day, a green screen operator’s “cloud” was somewhere in the big air-conditioned room far away, housing the mainframe. 10 years later the concept of client/server moved the cloud into a less discrete location and made it a little more granular.
Then came the not so successful network computing concept which fell victim to its own hype. Next we have the Internet now being leveraged productively in some creative ways, but again causing marketing driven hype to set it up for potential disappointments and failures.
It is partly for this reason, the lack of clear revolutionary changes in enterprise computing, that we face a problem. We have entire industry initiatives and business plans being built around terms that nobody even fully agrees on the definition of.
Cloud Computing, Web 2.0, the Semantic Web, etc. are just some of the examples of how we, as an industry, are adrift. We are again latching on to buzzwords, hype, self-sustaining waves of “if we talk enough about it, it will happen” — hoping someone, somewhere, will create a solution which sells enough in the marketplace to validate the original buzzword.
In the past some companies, like Microsoft, would derail perfectly good technologies possibly competing with their products by using FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). Many good companies, products and technologies fell victim to that. However, despite the best efforts of monopolies of their time, whether in computer hardware, operating systems or telecom, smart, nimble and aggressive competitors did create new products, categories and entire industries.
That is why it is so ironic to me that thousands of companies and professionals are trying to create a new Cloud Computing industry — without overcoming the FUD factor inherent in the marketplace!
Instead of removing uncertainty about what cloud computing means, what advantages it offers, what risks it carries and how those risks can be overcome, the players who want to lead in this industry are actually putting their faith in uncertainty!
They are relying on poorly defined concepts, media driven hype and evangelist driven buzzwords. They are hoping to be able to come up with something that sticks while no one knows what it all means.
That approach may work in the 3M Post-It sticky notes laboratory. But that is not how an entire industry, Information Technology and the Internet, based on a reality AND an image of clarity, consistency and communication standards can operate or succeed.
This is not the way to overcome the FUD that validly exists in the minds of technology and business managers in the enterprise. Add to that the recent outages, consistent problems and massive hacks that have hit everyone from Microsoft to Google, from Twitter to Facebook, and you can see why selling Cloud Computing as the answer, or even ready for prime time conversion of businesses, is both disingenuous and dangerous.
How many CIOs would be willing to completely bet their careers, and the security, and business continuity, of their organizations entirely on something as nebulous, literally, as cloud computing? I would not. As a CIO in a recent engagement, I started moving my client organization in that direction, for specific, clearly defined, non-mission-critical, business and technology functions. But, the most important, sensitive and mission-critical elements I ensured keeping in-house, in a proven, reliable and secure infrastructure
It is time for us, as an industry and professionals, to get out from under the umbrella of excuses that are often self-contradictory. When asked to define cloud computing we say things like “This is still an evolving platform”. When asked to sell the concept to clients, we make it sound like it is as reliable as what clients need and expect, knowing that it is not.
Let us let the rain of facts, client needs, technology realities and user expectations wash away the layers of hype that are coating our vision. Then let us build clear definitions, clear messages, clear value propositions that will sell far better than the hype.
Only with such clarity can we expect the sun to shine on a bright future for Cloud Computing. What do you think?
Imran, Imran Anwar, technology, computing, cloud, CIO, Internet, Microsoft, Google
Posted in Computing, Imran, Imran Anwar, IT, Technology | Tagged: Cloud Computing, Computing, Hype, Imran, ImranAnwar, Internet, IT, Microsoft, Technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by imrananwar on October 11, 2009
Does Pakistan Need Any More Wake-Up Calls? The recent brazen attack by Taliban on the Pakistani army headquarters may be the last wake-up call that the nation is going to get.
Pakistanis have to ask themselves some serious questions. What If The Taliban Had Attacked Pakistan’s Nuclear Facilities instead of the Army Headquarters? Or, what if these had been coordinated attacks simultaneously? The results would be horrible and ugly domestically and in the international response and concern about Pakistani nuclear assets.
That there are Taliban, Al Qaeda, Jihadi as well as Khliafat movement supporters and apologists in Pakistan is a sad fact. That there are still Pakistanis who do not see beyond the length of their nose – or a few months of perceived good and bad political stability – and yearn for martial law and its “benefits” is also a sad fact. That there are plenty of “blame America for every problem that Pakistan faces” people in every walk of life is also a given.
But if they all needed any further reminder, slap on the face, and one serious final wake-up call, this attack was it. It literally was an attempt to take over the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, something even India and Pakistan do not try to do to each other in times of cold and hot war. This should show the most ambivalent and secretly sympathetic Pakistanis that the Taliban are the enemies of Pakistan.
It appears that the attackers had inside information before the attack. The fact that there remained a not so secret cadre of Pakistan military officers who theologically, intellectually and emotionally remained supportive of the Taliban was dangerous enough. That they may still be providing material and professional aid to these enemies of Islam and Pakistan is far more treasonous than any actions of corrupt politicians or even dictators imposing martial law.
I must say I am shocked, and seriously disappointed, that the Army did not expect or prepare for the kind of brazen attack that took place. Signs had been pointing to it. Events were leading up to it. Yet, the very center of Pakistan’s army operations was caught off guard.
I am surprised at the news reports suggesting that the guards on duty were confused by the fact that the attackers wore army uniforms. This should have been the most basic expectation provided to the guards in their basic training. Expect the enemy at any time, in any guise.
I am also thankful, and actually surprised, that these were not a series of automated attacks by uniform wearing terrorists attacking several Army locations around the country. We should be thankful for that, but also expect, and prepare for the worst.
This also highlights a serious risk that Pakistanis would be foolish to ignore. A similar uniform wearing gang of terrorists could attack nuclear facilities in Pakistan. We are fortunate that this attack did not target nuclear installations. As it is, it is a matter of serious embarrassment and grave concern for Pakistan and supporters of Pakistan.
The time has come for Pakistan, Pakistanis and the Pakistan army to wake up, and march forward, with no doubt, no hesitation in the no prisoners attitude to deal with the cancer that is now obvious to everyone except anyone harboring a secret desire to live in the Stone Age again.
Pakistan has to eradicate the Taliban, and by extension Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, not for the sake of Afghanistan, not for the sake of America, a not for the sake of any supposed global war on terror. Pakistan has two fully eradicate this cancer from every part of its body and soul for its own survival.
It is not to be easy. There will be blood. Unfortunately, that is what happens when the cancer is allowed to grow freely, or even encouraged in the false assumption that it can be controlled. The time is now. The need is critical. Pakistan’s survival is at stake.
Pakistan’s army and its people have to work together to meet this challenge together. The time of ambivalence is gone. The time to tolerate terrorists apologists is gone. The time to eradicate the cancer is here. Let us not let down our nation. Pakistan Zindabad.
Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and email@example.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar
AlQaeda, IMRAN, Imran Anwar, ImranAnwar, Islam, Pakistan, Security, Taliban, Terrorism, Nuclear Weapons
Posted in AlQaeda, Army, Imran, Imran Anwar, Jihad, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Politics, Taliban, Terrorism | Tagged: AlQaeda, Imran, Imran Anwar, India, Islam, Islamabad, Jihad, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by imrananwar on October 2, 2009
Circles Of Life’s Seasons; Color Wheels Of Nature’s Projector, Displaying Fate’s Movie
Stunning Fall Foliage Colors, South Country Road, East Patchogue, Long Island, NY
We may desire for our lives to be eternal Springs, of youth and new joys. We yearn for our days to be endless Summers of bright, sunny, blue-sky filled days.
We may want to never be exposed to the cold brutalities of life’s Winters. But, winters do come in every life. And they have to be lived and experienced. As they start casting their longer, colder, crueler shadow across the days of our lives, things fall around us.
But, there is an irony in the seasons, fate and life. Fall, as life that sprung forth last spring, falls by the wayside. Yet, it is also the only time we are given a choice to see and appreciate such dazzling, stunning colors, as only Fall can bring. It gives us one last hurrah of color, to tide us over the cold days we know lie ahead, with the promise of a new life in the new year. And so the circle of life goes. And so it goes.
Driving home from running some errands I was amazed at the brilliant fall foliage colors that were highlighted by the sun’s late afternoon glow. I went home, picked up the camera and headed back to take these pictures.
© IMRAN 2008-2009
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Posted in 2009, America, Imran, Imran Anwar, ImranAnwar, Life, Philosophy, Photography, Seasons | Tagged: East Patchogue, Fall, Imran, Imran Anwar, ImranAnwar, Life, Long Island, New York, Nikon, Patchogue, Philosophy, Photography, Seasons | Leave a Comment »
Posted by imrananwar on October 1, 2009
On A Starry Night Calm Orion’s Belt Wraps An Eternal Eye Over Nebulous Tumultuous New York Times
It is appropriate that the photo I took after catching the glittering skyline of earth’s shining star, Manhattan, and the stars of Broadway and Times Square, is a timeless shot of the stars lining the sky. (See larger size to make out details of nebula, etc. )
They were beyond my grasp but it is just who we are, needing to reach for the stars, across the reaches of time, the vastness of eternity. So, I caught them, the cold cruel burning cores of Hydrogen, for me and you for today, and for forever etched onto the Silicon atoms of my camera’s memory … and the infinite neurons making up my memories in this so finite life.
The sky was particularly dark on this moonless night tonight. There was moisture in the air as a Southern wind was riding the Great South Bay, churning the water onto the beach in tumultuous waves of passion.
Far above, silently watching, the stars burnt in an amazing range of colors you could make out with the naked eye. Even the nebullae visible told their nebulous stories in clear thundering silence. I bowed in prayer, a murmur of thanks, to God, for having allowed me this moment to have lived, witnessed, experienced.
I was able to capture this shot with the Nikon D300 with no filters. This picture is as it was taken. See in full size in ALL SIZES if you see the button above.
© 2009 IMRAN
© IMRAN 2009
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IMRAN, Imran Anwar, ImranAnwar, New York, Night, Nikon, Photography, Universe, Long Island, Sky, Stars, Nebulla, Orion, Astronomy
Tags: IMRAN, “Imran Anwar”, ImranAnwar, “New York”, “Long Island”, Universe, Space, Stars, Night, Nikon, Orion, Astronomy
Posted in 2009, Imran, ImranAnwar, New York, Night, Nikon, Philosophy, Photography, Space, Universe | Tagged: Astronomy, Imran, Imran Anwar, ImranAnwar, Long Island, New York, Night, Nikon, Orion, Space, Stars, Universe | Leave a Comment »