Today my 75-year-old father told me that he bought a new, “cloud enabled” wine refrigerator. My dad, Elwin, told me my wine refrigerator was so “twenty-thirteen” like I was some sort of a rube or something. Twenty-thirteen? When did my dad start saying twenty-thirteen? When did Elwin start thinking about cloud as something other than just vapor, puffy white somethings full of water and if you stand under it for long enough you’re going to get wet or if you lay on your back long enough, caricatures show up that look like Snoopy, or a train, maybe even a pretty little sailboat? I’m not sure which bothered me more, Elwin, my dad accusing me, an EMC guy of being a technology rube, or that he now had a better wine fridge? So why is everyone talking about Cloud? Why is my 75 year old dad talking about the cloud? What the what?
Ever since Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt publicly uttered the term “cloud computing” in the 90’s, a CLOUD (pun totally intended) has been gathering over Silicon Valley as well as over the Hopkinton Valley. Known for peddling books online, Amazon began selling an Elastic Compute service in 2006 for programmers to rent giant computers – Wow!
If you were a part of the “twenty-oh-five” era, then everything you did was about the cloud. Puffy white clouds had become the go-to metaphor for all things Internet. The PowerPoint deck du jour used cloud icons in their presentations, at times referring to the Internet simply as “the cloud.” New shades of meaning emerged over the past decade as tech companies created software that could run simultaneously on multiple servers, on demand, in a multi-tenant environment — hence, operate in a “cloud.” Voila, and I just get what I need, when I need it and the best part, I don’t worry about what’s under the covers, because everything is delivered inside of a SLA.
Fast forward to yesterday, now everybody is cloud this and cloud that; Elwin is in the cloud. Which BTW, is actually pretty cool. He gets to keep track, via an app on his, yes – – – SmartPhone, that tracks temp, humidity and the turn-over of wines he has in his 200 bottle fridge all brought down onto his home wifi and all the data is hosted at Rackspace. BooYah!
Anyway, so what does cloud mean to me – – – today?
Think the Jetson’s meet Star Trek all the while I’m in first class on Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines newest 777 going to Turks and Caicos on mileage and hotel points and I’m checking the temp and humidity in my humidor. That’s what the cloud is for me – – – today. At least it is right now as I’m writing this sitting in seat 31B, because I think I forgot to add water a couple of weeks ago to that humidor.
My dad Elwin, is so twenty-fourteen; what a rube! 😉
Bill Thomas is a senior program manager and enterprise architect for EMC’s Global Professional Services division since 2011. Bill is based out of the small, quiet suburb of Anthem, just 15 miles north of Phoenix. Bill works in the financial services sector and supports some of EMC’s very largest clients.