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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Cloud Confusion

20 June 2011 by Jenn Granger

Is the cloud under performing because of a lack of understanding?

The cloud computing page on Wikipedia was first created in March 2007, and populated with a paragraph of text in September of the same year. That first entry said

“Cloud Computing is the new revolution in Computing where Software that used to reside on PC’s are moved or extended to the internet. These “Software through the Internet Cloud” or Cloud Applications (Cloud Apps) is the newest paradigm shift to occur in our time. It is as momentous as the Industrial Revolution. The architecture behind Cloud Computing is a massive network of “cloud servers” interconnected as if in a Grid (hence the term Grid Computing) running in parallel (hence Parallel Computing). Collectively, these architectures are all necessary for the leading software giants (such as Microsoft and Google) to provide a wide array of Cloud Applications to the masses in this new age of Cloud Computing.”

It is a good explanation for those with industry knowledge but certainly is not designed for ‘Joe Public’ to understand. Fast forward to today and it is clear that confusion still exists. The Wikipedia entry has increased to include 18 sections, but people are there are concerns with the entry, as exemplified by the following warning box at the top of the Wikipedia page:

Wikipedia cloud page issues


I would expect to see this on a niche or new topic, not on a page that is four years old and about a technology that is implemented by some of the largest corporations.

The confusion surrounding cloud is in part because of the wide variation in applications and set ups. Terms like private, public and hybrid cloud are bandied about; television adverts talk about “to the cloud” when organising family photographs while businesses employ advanced set ups that seem completely unrelated to this image of arranging your photos.

Hosting companies have also played their part in the confusion. As with all new technologies, there has been a rush to set the standard for the associated ‘jargon’ that will be used across the world. Therefore, many hosting companies will be providing exactly the same type of cloud service, but under different names.

At UKFast we are keen to put an end to this confusion. We are a member of the Cloud Industry Forum which aims to “provide  transparency through certification to a Code of Practice for credible online cloud service providers and to assist end users in determining core information necessary to enable them to adopt these services.”


I believe that clarification of cloud terms will help to accelerate its growth and aid innovation within the industry. What do you think – will better definitions help the cloud industry to grow even faster?