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Not Shocking: Most People Clueless About 'The Cloud'
51% Think Cloud Computing Disrupted by Rain
by Karl Bode 01:09PM Thursday Aug 30 2012
A new study from Citrix Systems unsurprisingly finds that most of the public remains rather clueless about the term "cloud computing," despite the fact the term has been in circulation for at least six years and possibly since 1996. According to the survey, 51% respondents stated that stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing, and while technically not wrong (thunderstorms) a quick look at the survey results shows you they weren't thinking quite that deeply.

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One in five polled claimed they've faked knowing what the cloud is. Levels of confusion differ drastically, with some believing that the cloud has something to do with toilet paper or drugs:
quote:
When asked what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud (specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the weather (29 percent). Only 16 percent said they think of a computer network to store, access and share data from Internet-connected devices. Some of the other verbatim responses include:Toilet paper, pillow, smoke, outerspace, cyberspace, mysterious network, unreliable, security, sadness, relaxed, overused, oh goody a hacker’s dream, storage, movies, money, memory, back-up, joy, innovation, drugs, heaven and a place to meet.
Of course much of the blame for this confusion could be placed on the shoulders of the people who decided that "accessing a server through the Internet" wasn't adequate nomenclature. We've also noted that the vast majority of consumers don't know what a gigabyte is (87% at last count), which is particularly problematic given than most customers are now being billed by that measure.

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zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw

1 recommendation

Stop calling it the cloud!

Basically the cloud is a synonym for the internet. Save it to the cloud means save it online (via the internet).

I'm not really sure why they decided to call it the "cloud". People were saving files and data to the internet before someone tried to coin is as the "cloud".

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Stop calling it the cloud!

said by zod5000:

Basically the cloud is a synonym for the internet. Save it to the cloud means save it online (via the internet).

I'm not really sure why they decided to call it the "cloud". People were saving files and data to the internet before someone tried to coin is as the "cloud".

And the "cloud" implies that it isn't just the data stored there, but the processing is done there as well.
--
»www.mittromney.com/s/repeal-and- ··· bamacare
»www.mittromney.com/issues/health ··· lth-care

Tommy M

@sunwave.com.br

Re: Stop calling it the cloud!

And the "cloud" implies that it isn't just the data stored there, but the processing is done there as well.

Dunno. "Server" suggests the same thing, given it has, well, a processor.
dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Stop calling it the cloud!

said by Tommy M :

And the "cloud" implies that it isn't just the data stored there, but the processing is done there as well.

Dunno. "Server" suggests the same thing, given it has, well, a processor.

Not quite. "Server" suggests a particular piece of stuff. "Cloud" at least has the useful benefit of including the notion that you don't know, and don't need to know, where it's running, whether it's running on one lump of stuff or several, whether and when it can move around, and all the flexibility benefits. So there's a need for some word for all that. But it ought to have technical substance; "cloud" is now mostly buzzword.

Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Of which one of the early examples I can think of [for cloud computing] is Seti and folding/gnome at home.
praetoralpha

join:2005-08-06
Pittsburgh, PA
said by zod5000:

I'm not really sure why they decided to call it the "cloud". People were saving files and data to the internet before someone tried to coin is as the "cloud".

Probably some dumbass marketing exec came started calling it that, so everyone followed. See also: X-as-a-service.

A789345

@verizon.net

Re: Stop calling it the cloud!

said by praetoralpha:

said by zod5000:

I'm not really sure why they decided to call it the "cloud". People were saving files and data to the internet before someone tried to coin is as the "cloud".

Probably some dumbass marketing exec came started calling it that, so everyone followed. See also: X-as-a-service.

I agree. I prefer to call it SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, etc. I have worked on systems similar to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). I would call Amazon EC2 IaaS and drop the "Cloud" terminology.
Seaboogers

join:2004-11-01
Sarasota, FL
Actually if you want to be technical about it...weather..specifically heavy rain and snow can affect your access to "The Cloud".

If you have a microwave link set up to serve a location...and you have a "fade event"...the link can go down, cutting you off from access. Most capable engineers build in enough fade margin for this to be a non-event, but it does happen.

Can't really fault a Microwave antenna/dish for getting ripped off a tower in hurricane force winds!

So while it's true "The Cloud" won't go down, it gives the appearance that it's down.

Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
RIAA and their ilk should push to make cloud storage the way that all things must be saved. At lest that way they can "snoop" the contents of what is stored for illegal material.
I look at cloud storage the same way I look at e-mail. Priacy is only implied. Your ISP, and any other company, can "look"at the e-mail you sent, once it leaves your PC and hits their hardware. Much like an employers e-mail/electronic use/network use policy. There is no such thing as private once you hit send, or place it in storage on someone else's hardware. Of course you can go the extra mile and encrypt everything. But good luck with that.
Meaning can you trust that they haven't given a back door to the government, or RIAA?
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.
dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by zod5000:

People were saving files and data to the internet before someone tried to coin is as the "cloud".

Well, sort of. But for the last thirty-something years we've been drawing diagrams which have "the part of the network that we don't need to discuss" drawn as a cloud. So, in fact, the change was that a nerdy term firstly got redefined to mean something a little more specific, and secondly, it got used with civilians without ever really being explained.

As usual, it's probably marketing types just using words they don't understand.

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

bad terminology annoys me

Can't blame them. It's a nondescriptive term meant to sex-up 'distributed computing' and represents backend solutions most endusers do not want or need to comprehend. What they need to grasp is local vs. remote dependencies.

For shortness there was 'grid' but that's overly representative (keep them mystified) and decidedly less cuddly.
Albert71292

join:2004-10-31
West Monroe, LA

Well maybe...

Stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing if you have satellite internet...

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Well maybe...

you woudn't be using the cloud with satellite with the extremely low caps they have.

Fourcpus4me

join:2012-08-11
Gladwin, MI

Re: Well maybe...

Actually, I'm doing that right now. It's just what we call a 'video-free internet experience.'

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
said by 88615298:

you woudn't be using the cloud with satellite with the extremely low caps they have.

Why not? Nobody said you have to upload huge (as in GB's) files. You can upload to the cloud something as small as a single pic, so once again your logic is useless!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonk ··· amonkey/
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

not the least bit surprised...

This is kind of funny, but I'm honestly not surprised that people have no clue about this.

Personally, I find the description ("cloud computing") very generic.

DynoMutt

@intellispace.net

But it IS disrupted by rain - if it's hard enough

See US-East-1

caffeinator
Coming soon to a cup near you..
Premium
join:2005-01-16
WA, USA
kudos:4

cloud = that internets stuff

It's simple really, look at any network diagram...


oh look, the cloud...

gballer

@comcast.net

hmm

Seems like everything is going as planned.

1.) Offer unlimited internet.
2.) Get consumers use to it.
3.) Give cloud/streaming services for everything.
4) Change the definition of unlimited.
5.) Charge users per use
6.) Win for carriers
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

dumb terminal

Why not call it what it is, a dumb terminal.

Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN

1 recommendation

Other's thoughts.

"Some of the other verbatim responses include:.... oh goody a hacker’s dream...."

I'm more in line with that statement.

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

Visual representation...

Networks when visualized are usually represented in a circle. Many networks (circles) overlayed on top of each other (as the internet is many smaller networks) when represented visually begin to look like a cloud.

It's that simple.

skuv

@rr.com

Re: Visual representation...

Not, that's not it at all.

For the last 15 years I've been in the ISP industry, when you draw a network diagram, you draw your own network, then draw links to an actual drawing of a cloud that represents the rest of the Internet.

Somewhere in the last few years, someone took that cloud in a drawing to mean where stuff goes to be stored on the Internet.

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX
CCNP myself. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one then. I had this taught to me in multiple cisco classes. Not saying they're right but that sure is a lot of credible people wrong about it then.
Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

Case in point...

»Setting up Personal Cloud
mikefxu

join:2004-10-05
Titusville, FL

Re: Case in point...

It is a way for those in IT to differentiate between US and THEM.

Instead of looking under your hood and calling a alternator what it is a person calls it a thing-a-ma-bob.

Also when someone calls a magazine a clip.
Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

Re: Case in point...

said by mikefxu:

It is a way for those in IT to differentiate between US and THEM.

Instead of looking under your hood and calling a alternator what it is a person calls it a thing-a-ma-bob.

Also when someone calls a magazine a clip.

This is more like someone walking into an auto parts store and asking for an alternator even though they have no idea what that is or why they need it.
OmagicQ
Posting in a thread near you

join:2003-10-23
Bakersfield, CA
kudos:1

Bunch of psychological hooey

They use terms like "the cloud" because it evokes a good touchy-feely association with it...its the cloud, it must be safe and secure and fluffy and good and whatever. I'll bet you few if any would use it if they called it something like 'the pit' or 'the blackhole'
--
...Who, What, When, Where, How... Why? Why Not?
OmagicQ
Posting in a thread near you

join:2003-10-23
Bakersfield, CA
kudos:1

duplicate

duplicate

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

Re: duplicate

said by OmagicQ:

duplicate

Remote sync issues?

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

Cloud question

Who coined this term anyways? In my eyes it's nothing but a online server but not called a server because calling something a server is not cool anymore
Maggs
Premium
join:2002-11-29
Woodside, NY
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE

The Cloud

Well, the cloud does get stormy, there is the ole packet storm. Or the utter failure of Amazon to keep S3 online, so much for your puffy cloud then. Don't trust your important data to third parties, as some network admins can attest even hosted solutions with battery backups and power generators fail miserably, some people know which site had to deal with that .

Cloud providers will cut corners where necessary, and they hold your data hostage, just check out iCloud, that's massive vendor lock right there. Oh and those folks ties to Windows and Office, yeah you know who you're master is. Don't forget to pay your Volume license agreement or Microsoft owns all your corporate data, they license it to you. Think I'm kidding, you sys admins need to read your EULA again. Your the user remember and there's only two users out there, drug users, and computer users, coincidence anyone?

Step away from your computer, phone and all electronic devices for a week, I bet you can't do it. Welcome to the new crack folks.
--
Hello, is anyone out there.
15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

Re: The Cloud

I think the industry DESIRES the typical consumer to know NOTHING about Cloud Computing, because those that DO KNOW the details knows that your last vestiges of privacy on the internet and computing will be completely GONE.

I bet if you asked consumers if they trust a remote server provider to keep your most valuable information secure , most would answer no.

The Cloud is DANGEROUS!
Walter Dnes

join:2008-01-27
Thornhill, ON

1970 called

They want their dumb-terminals-hooked-up-to-timesharing-mainframe-computers back.

While we're at it, does anybody else remember the first iteration of Microsoft's "dot-NET"? It was a GUI client hooked up to a remote server. These things seem to go in cycles.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: 1970 called

yep! basically what was WebTV as well. But this thing is coming back out. Google Books are just that- a dumb terminal. and major businesses and universities use them as well. That is the whole point why Dell bought Wyse.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Other terms the average user doesn't know...

Some other terms the average computer user today doesn't know the true definitions of;

Resolution
File Associations
Email Client
File System

Seriously, ask ten different people what their desktop resolution is set to and you'll probably get at least nine blank stares. Ask the average user to describe how you change a file association and all you'll get is "Uhhh..." Ask them what an email client is and they'll tell you it's a customer who talks to the company through Hotmail. Ask them what file system their drive uses and they won't have a clue.

Computer knowledge today amounts to "Click the icon" and "Put a disc in and wait for Windows to suggest what to do." Anyone who can install new programs without needing someone to help them is considered a computer expert. Anyone who can install a new piece of hardware without taking the system to the Geek Squad is a tech genius. If you can install Windows from scratch, you qualify for the mythical status of Computer Wizard.
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·ITalkBB

Re: Other terms the average user doesn't know...

Why not just come out and say that the majority of the world doesn't truly understand what computers are, much less technology or science?
When I say majority I don't mean the majority of the people who use the internet, I mean the majority of the world, who may not even know what internet is.

It gets mentioned a lot, but people don't dwell on them deeply, they hear it often, but they don't think or understand it. Thus confusion arises in form of 'I think I understand' when they hear about something but never looked into it fully, or mistake it with something else.

The ability for human beings to understand each other fully, is probably what we need to end all wars and conflicts too. Problems are solved once they are understood, solved problems brings forth more problems, so you have to be vigilant in trying to understand things.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: Other terms the average user doesn't know...

said by dra6o0n:

Why not just come out and say that the majority of the world doesn't truly understand what computers are, much less technology or science?

I thought that's what I said.

Lone Wolf
Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1

Commodore 64

It seems that some people still can't figure out a Commodore 64 let alone a "cloud".

Old news from 2006 but fitting:

»www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/se ··· rkoliver
quote:
The investigation into the kidnapping of Natascha Kampusch has been complicated by the discovery of an obsolete computer in the house where she was held, Austrian police said today.
Officers have been surprised to find that the kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, a communications technician, appeared to have relied exclusively on a Commodore 64.
The beige-coloured machine was popular in the 1980s but is now considered an antique, though some electronic dance acts still use it and it has a cult following among some fans of retro computers.
It was hoped that the computer might contain information which might shed more light on the decision of Priklopil, 44, to snatch Ms Kampusch, when she was aged 10, in March 1998.
However, Major General Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau, told reporters the computer would complicate investigators' efforts to transfer files for closer examination.
There are emulators available which can make a modern PC capable of running Commodore 64 programmes but Maj Gen Lang said it would be difficult to transmit the data from Priklopil's machine to a modern computer "without loss".

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Indianapolis, IN

No magic

Cloud computing or just "the cloud" is not magic. It's hosting. It's compute power that's self provisioned....it still has to have fleets of systems behind the scenes to run on, it still needs software.

For those with 20 years in this business it's time share on a mainframe. It's nothing we haven't seen before, just a respin with today's naming on it.
--
TheGlobalMind.com / Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? / Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. - Ralph Waldo Emerson / Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.

AnonMe

@comcastbusiness.net

Cloud: One of the most irritating terms of the decade!

Couldn't POP3 mail be considered Cloud Computing since it is collected, stored, often processed for viruses/spam, held for you to later access?

Wouldn't Compuserv back in the 80's be considered Cloud Computing? And how about the later AOL?

Pretty much anything could be considered part of "The Cloud", yes even your home computer since the cloud is made up of lots of different interconnected systems!

And who the heck trusts their data to some unknown entity, hoping the magical unknown black box "Cloud" is safe to store your valuable data?

Everytime I hear someone use the term, my opinion of them drops several notches.