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What is a Cloud

By John | February 13, 2008

Here is my definition of the Holy Grail “Cloud”.

Primary Characteristics

Secondary Characteristics

What are your thoughts ?

Topics: 3tera, amazon, blue cloud, cloud computing, ec2, grid, ibm, mosso, nick carr, rackspace, s3, the big switch, utility cloud computing, virtualization, yahoo | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “What is a Cloud”

  1. Jim Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I thought a cloud was usually white and fluffy?

  2. John Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Ops I forgot that one :)

  3. Berkay Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    this works for me. I had written about clouds etc from software vendor point of view a while ago, and this explanation works fine.

  4. Paul Lancaster Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Just what we are aiming to do — oh by the way — there is an SLA behind it too….

  5. Paul Lancaster Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    You can see the site here:

  6. Paul Lancaster Says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

  7. Berkay Says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Paul, It’s perplexing to me that there is no technical information on your site about your offering. The only explanation is about how to provision the servers.
    Do I get to install whatever OS I want? any application I want? Do I get shell access?
    What is your grid technology? How do you ensure that if a physical server goes down, it does not impact my virtual servers?

    How do people decide whether or not to use the service is beyond me..

  8. Paul Lancaster Says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 1:45 pm


    We offer Cent OS, RHEL, and Windows right now and we’ll eventually offer completely pre-built “application stacks” with LAMP or LAMJ or whatever “application containter” you need… Use the UI to deploy and manage servers and the network from a high level — get root/admin access to the server once it is “deployed” from the UI. GoGrid has a management interface that our engineering staff uses to manage all nodes in the GRID. We can grow the size of the GRID by adding servers and storage — which is completely invisible to an end user of the service. All servers automatically failover to another node should there be any issue with a “server” in the GRID — GoGrid is built using XEN and Intel Quad Core servers.

  9. James Urquhart Says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 2:21 am


    This is a much more palatable definition than some others I have seen. If I stretch my definition of virtualization to include deployments to bare metal that require no action or knowledge by the application owner, then I can agree with all of it. :)

  10. James Urquhart Says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 2:22 am

    By the way, I linked to you in my own cloud computing description today:

  11. February 2008 - Review Post | John M Willis ESM Blog Says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    [...] What is a Cloud [...]

  12. Michael Sheehan Says:
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    With all the talk about “cloud computing” (my Google Alerts are absolutely buzzing on those keywords), I thought that I would take a step back and really think about the word cloud, merely as a thought provoking exercise. My post is here. Comments welcome.