What on earth is ‘cloud computing’?

September 25, 2008

Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison shed a little sunshine on “cloud computing” on Thursday at a financial analyst meeting held by Oracle Corp, the software company that he founded and runs (when he’s not making into the headlines for his more nautical pursuits).

We’ve redefined ‘cloud computing’ to include everything we currently do. So it has already achieved dominance in the industry. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing.

The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Cloud Computing. I remember I was reading W and I read that orange is the new pink. And cloud is the new SaaS. (Software as a Service) Or cloud is the new virtualization. It is the most nonsensical. I mean I read these articles … I have no idea what anybody is talking about. I mean it is really just complete gibberish.

What is it? What is it? … Is it – ‘Oh, I am going to access data on a server on the Internet.’ That is cloud computing?

Then there is a definition: What is cloud computing? It is using a computer that is out there. That is one of the definitions:¬† ‘That is out there.’ These people who are writing this crap are out there. They are insane. I mean it is the stupidest.

And he wasn’t done yet: “When is this idiocy going to stop?” And “What the hell is cloud computing?” followed. And then this:

We’ll make cloud computing announcements because if orange is the new pink, we’ll make orange… Okay fine, we’ll do some cloud. Maybe we’ll do an ad. I don’t know what we’ll do differently in light of cloud computing other than change the wording on some of our ads. It’s crazy. So that’s my view.

Still lost in the clouds?


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Hilarious and so true.

Posted by Kathleen | Report as abusive

Hmmmmm, let me think about what sounds cool: SaaS or Cloud Computing. I know, I Know…How about what is easier for most people to remember, “software as a service” or “cloud computing.” I think most reporters know what the cloud paradigm is–software and data are stored on servers, but you access applications via a Web browser. Who knows, maybe Larry likes “SaaS” because he has a secret love of palindromes or boring outdated acronyms.

Posted by AP | Report as abusive

Is it any surprise that Oracle would be out badmouthing cloud computing when it has the potential to disrupt their entire business? Who needs a database server when you can buy cloud storage like electricity and let someone else worry about the details? Not me, that’s for sure (unless I happen to be one of a dozen or so big providers who are probably using open source tech anyway).

They still have a huge legacy installed base, and will add a sprinkle of “I can’t believe it’s not cloud” to their lineup to approximate some of the attributes of cloud computing, but in the long run the outlook is less clear. I for one would be worried about not having a serious cloud computing strategy when the likes of Google, Microsoft and (strange bedfellow) Amazon have deployments already.


Posted by Sam J | Report as abusive

To disambiguate: Clouds are vapor. Vaporware is software that doesn’t actually exist. Therefore, we must conclude that “cloud computing” is nonexistent computing. Clear, now?

Posted by Rambo Tribble | Report as abusive

Hearing cloud compute from Oracle is like Microsoft talking about Open Source. Gibberish, but certainly adds to the fun.


Posted by friarminor | Report as abusive


I have just posted a new discussion of cloud computing. Thought you and your readers might be interested in checking it out.

In the post, I introduced why cloud computing is actually an inevitable future from a historic point of view, let it alone being just a marketing term.


Posted by Yihong Ding | Report as abusive

Its funny that this is coming from Ellison who 13 years ago talked about a project that is similar to cloud computing:
http://www.usfca.edu/~morriss/478/projec ts_972/Introduction.html

Posted by Moustafa Khalil | Report as abusive

[…] Larry Ellison, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Oracle shared Oracles vision and opened the¬†floor to questions. The first one question was: What is Oracle doing about cloud computing? Ellison smirked and then belted out his thoughts on cloud computing. Here’s a slightly edited excerpt as reported by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. […]

Posted by Larry Ellison: Cloud, SaaS All Gibberish | Report as abusive