The Blind Men and the Cloud

17 views
Skip to first unread message

Sam Charrington

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 10:53:44 AM8/27/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to deliver two presentations on cloud computing at the Next Generation Data Center (NGDC) conference. The first talk was part of the Executive Summit, an all-day event for senior IT professionals moderated by Don Tennant of ComputerWorld. The second was a stand-alone presentation as part of the conference's Applications Track.

Since so many of us still struggle to define cloud computing, offering my perspective on what it's all about seemed like a natural place to start.

I took a bit of an integrative approach with the definition I presented. Granted, it's not the kind of definition that satisfies the engineer in me, but I think it helps capture the essence--and promise--of cloud computing.

[Slide: Cloud computing is the evolution and convergence of many seemingly independent computing trends.]


My main point is that when we try to define cloud based on some subset of the technologies used to implement it, we risk missing the forest for the trees.

Unfortunately this is done all-too-frequently, in part because of the different perspectives that we bring to the task. To illustrate a few of these perspectives at play, I read Executive Summit attendees a poem called "The Blind Men and the Cloud," which I wrote with help from Noreen Barczewski, the Appistry office bard.

The poem, based on "The Blind Men and the Elephant," by John Godfrey Saxe, tells the story of six "blind men of Info Tech," each trying to define cloud computing. If you look around at the various cloud definitions being proposed, I think you'll see these six perspectives--and more--at play.

    The Blind Men and the Cloud

    It was six men of Info Tech
        To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Cloud
        (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
        Might satisfy his mind
     
    The First approached the Cloud,
        So sure that he was boasting
    "I know exactly what this is…
        This Cloud is simply Hosting."
     
    The Second grasped within the Cloud,
        Saying, "No it's obvious to me,
    This Cloud is grid computing…
        Servers working together in harmony!"
     
    The Third, in need of an answer,
        Cried, "Ho! I know its source of power
    It's a utility computing solution
        Which charges by the hour."
     
    The Fourth reached out to touch it,
        It was there, but it was not   
    "Virtualization," said he.
        "That's precisely what we've got!"
     
    The Fifth, so sure the rest were wrong
        Declared "It's sass you fools,
    Applications with no installation
        It's breaking all the rules!"
     
    The Sixth (whose name was Benioff),
        Felt the future he did know,
    He made haste in boldly stating,           
        "This *IS* Web 3.0."
     
    And so these men of Info Tech
        Disputed loud and long,
    Each in his own opinion
        Exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right,
        And all were partly wrong!

So, what perspectives are you seeing out there? Does keeping the different perspectives in mind help make sense of the different definitions being proposed?

(Originally Post: http://www.appistry.com/blogs/sam/the-blind-men-and-cloud)

randall

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 4:19:52 PM8/27/08
to Cloud Computing
Cute poem. I'd say Benioff is the closest. In as much as Web 2.0
enables user generated content, Web 3.0 enables user generated
applications, which themselves enable user generated content. It's a
compounding of the "enablement," if you will, of Web 2.0. I feel
compelled to say we are still just stepping toward Tim Berners-Lee's
original vision of the web. There are no numbers.

- randall

On Aug 27, 7:53 am, "Sam Charrington" <s...@charrington.com> wrote:
> Earlier this month I had the opportunity to deliver two presentations on
> cloud computing at the Next Generation Data Center
> (NGDC)<http://www.ngdcexpo.com/>conference. The first talk was part of
> the Executive
> Summit <http://www.ngdcexpo.com/live/11/conference/SN181087>, an all-day
> event for senior IT professionals moderated by Don Tennant of ComputerWorld.
> The second was a stand-alone presentation as part of the conference's
> Applications Track.
>
> Since so many of us still struggle to define cloud computing, offering my
> perspective on what it's all about seemed like a natural place to start.
>
> I took a bit of an integrative approach with the definition I presented.
> Granted, it's not the kind of definition that satisfies the engineer in me,
> but I think it helps capture the essence--and promise--of cloud computing.
>
> [Slide: Cloud computing is the evolution and convergence of many seemingly
> independent computing
> trends.]<http://www.appistry.com/blogs/sam/the-blind-men-and-cloud>
>
> My main point is that when we try to define cloud based on some subset of
> the technologies used to implement it, we risk missing the forest for the
> trees.
>
> Unfortunately this is done all-too-frequently, in part because of the
> different perspectives that we bring to the task. To illustrate a few of
> these perspectives at play, I read Executive Summit attendees a poem called
> "The Blind Men and the Cloud," which I wrote with help from Noreen
> Barczewski, the Appistry office bard.
>
> The poem, based on "The Blind Men and the
> Elephant<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Men_and_an_Elephant>,"

Dan Kearns

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 4:46:52 PM8/27/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com

brilliant. I humbly propose an additional stanza:

The seventh, lacking comfort
  Begged standards to be raised
Do any hedge funds use this stuff?
  And when it fails, who pays?

-d

Reuven Cohen

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 4:40:25 PM8/27/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com

Sam, I hadn't realized you were so creative, nice work.

ruv

Khazret Sapenov

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 7:20:03 PM8/27/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 10:53 AM, Sam Charrington <s...@charrington.com> wrote:
here is my bit in haiku, fits nice into presentation frames :)
 
shoguns chase cloud...
lots of servants and geishas
no satisfaction
 
trusted men lied...
giving false reports to all
should do harakiri
 
arrow missed target...
army of monkeys failed
still love simple storage
 
 
 

Reuven Cohen

unread,
Aug 27, 2008, 7:30:18 PM8/27/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com

Here's my haiku (俳句), based on some resent cloud computing events :)

A white cloud rises
Cascading systems run
Breaks in the night

r/c

Krishna Sankar (ksankar)

unread,
Aug 28, 2008, 1:34:36 AM8/28/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com

Sam

Excellent.

Dan,

See what you have done ;o( - you have inspired me !

-------

And the eighth walked by, Watched the commotion

  And pensively made a suggestion,

“If you want to learn about Clouds, just jangle

  The cloud-computing @Google”

-------

<k/>

P.S : Obviously am not good at this, but want to chime in anyway ;o)

Ajay ohri

unread,
Aug 28, 2008, 10:49:36 AM8/28/08
to cloud-c...@googlegroups.com
Someday the cloud will Part,
 
Heaven will free us from all the fart,
 
We wont have a need to define the cloud,
 
As people will pick and choose , make their choices loud.
 
The best defined technolgies have often failed,
 
While fellow men watched, and their propenents railed.
 
The simple ideas often suceed,
 
Choose your cloud as per your need.
 
 
 


 
On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 5:57 AM, Ajay ohri <ohri...@gmail.com> wrote:
Here is a link to both my poetry books :))
 
 
 
I didnt know cloud computing poems was  a market too. maybe the next book would be a compilation. ;)

2008/8/28 Reuven Cohen <r...@enomaly.com>



--
Regards,

Ajay Ohri
http://tinyurl.com/liajayohri





--
Regards,

Ajay Ohri
http://tinyurl.com/liajayohri


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages