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Cloud is "Remote Elastic Service"

Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2009 | 6 Comments

My elevator pitch for cloud computing is “remote elastic service”. I have been thinking about cloud for 6 months and it’s taken me this long to get it down to an elevator pitch that works.

Cloud computing is:


Cloud computing is accessed remotely. This may occur over the Internet or via a private service. It may be purely internally to your company or with an external third party. But cloud is remote.
Cloud computing is elastic. This expands into areas of capacity and potentially payment. Consider scaling, right sizing, overflow, its all elastic. Pricing may be elastic to, pay as you go.
Cloud computing give you remote access to an elastic service. The service may be a whole variety of things. A single application, such a blogging site, that’s Software as a Service. A framework for building your own things like some storage or a mapping system, that’s Platform as a Service. Maybe it’s a whole compute unit like a virtualised computer, that’s Infrastructure as a Service. Getting someone else to deliver that service for you means you don’t need to worry about maintaining it.
There you have it, next time someone asks you, “So what’s this cloud stuff” you can reply “Oh, its just remote elastic service. Let me expand …”. Then you can expand each word out for whatever the circumstance requires, Remote …. Elastic …. Service.

I am not saying it’s a complete definition, but we all need an elevator pitch, something simple. Sometimes you don’t have 5 minutes to get the distillation of what you need say across. Anyone you speak to can walk away remembering it, remote:elastic:service.


P.S. I searched all the search engines, “remote elastic service” hits nothing, so spread the word!


  1. Nice, I can see my self using it in presentations already :D

  2. How is remote different from how all computing is done? I mean no one sits in the datacenter and works - everything is done remote. I think there's a lot of people that struggle with this "remote" definition. A lot of people out there think cloud is still someone else's compute power. How do we better define the first bullet? I'm still scratching my head there. #2 and #3 are spot on.

  3. An interesting related article over at Gartner http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_bittman/2009/02/05/private-cloud-computing-is-real-get-over-it/

  4. Mike, appreciate your comments. In regards to Remote I do see it as valid, it just takes some detail. Its an important distinction. I also think VMware are struggling to articulate and push Internal Cloud into the utility/grid space.

    Every definition of cloud I have read, including VMware's own one, references some location based aspect, usually over the Internet which is too broad. If I move all of my servers in my datacenter to VMware, is that now an internal cloud. No, thats utility/grid, its VDC-OS. When I take those servers and decouple the location (maybe I have two data centers), so I put it at the right place (be it internal or external), when its elastic (which VDC-OS usually is) and when its a service (say Life Cycle Manager), now its matured from utility/grid into Cloud.

    Its a fine line and thats why I think the Internal Cloud is going to be harder to define to the market, especially for VMware. But I do think its really important for us to work hard on the distinction. See http://rodos.haywood.org/2009/01/when-is-cloud-private.html

  5. I prefer "utility" instead of "service" - service is already kind of SOA contaminated. lets talk about "utilities" like in former days (what I remember they called everything a utility which was not software but more a "bundle of functions which solved something". and is it exactly how we will apply software in the cloud future?

  6. @siniweler The problem I have with changing service to utility as it removes some of the "service" elements that may come with that utility. That is maintenance, licensing, trouble shooting, upgrades, backup and recovery. Also people are used to SaaS, PaaS and IaaS and it aligns well with those.



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