David M Smith

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David Mitchell Smith
VP & Gartner Fellow
16 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

David Mitchell Smith is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, where he specializes in the impact of catalytic technologies such as the Internet, Web 2.0, cloud computing and consumer technologies. Read Full Bio

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Cloud computing, Politics and the lunatic fringe

by David M. Smith  |  October 16, 2009  |  3 Comments


Controversial issues tend to attract the lunatic fringe to the poles of those issues. We see it all the time in politics. We also see it in cloud computing.    In the cloud case, the poles are public cloud and private cloud.  And the extremes bring out the lunatic fringes on both sides.

First the public side. Purists (often called lunatics) will go as far as to say that private clouds don’t exist.  But the real danger is the loss of potential benefits when people overreact to limits in pure public cloud environments.  In such cases, often there will be a showstopper, probably around security  or compliance.  The lunatic overreaction is to say that all cloud computing can’t be used. And the potential benefits of less pure public and hybrid and virtual environments lost.

On the private side, there is incredible abuse of the term.  No shortage of vendors are claiming whatever they were selling last year is now private cloud.  There are also IT people wanting to claim they have them too. whatever they are. The danger is lunatic overreaction to stretching the term.  So the potential benefits that could be derived from using cloud concepts internally can be lost due to lunatic skepticism.

I wonder when we’ll see the private cloud lunatics lobby against any public option :-)


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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rick Lebherz   October 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    What are your thoughts on What OpSource is doing in the clouds?

    Taking the ease and flexibility of public clouds and creating a multi-tiered architecture and dedicated firewalls among other things to bring the security and performances the other aspects enterprise require. The concept of virtual private clouds where you can select the level of public internet access and the web app servers are the only things end users can directly interact with?

  • 2 david smith   October 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Virtual private clouds such as the ones you refer to are good examples of the space between the poles. many combinations of virtual private, hybrid etc. with interoperability between on and off premises systems. the real action will be in betwee the poles.


  • 3 Rick Lebherz   December 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I agree… but then again I’m a bit biased (full disclosure.. this is what I sell)

    If anyone would like to try it HGY01 will provide 50% off before Jan 1st 2010, and RLE01 will get you 20% off anytime. And This is good for 30days usage. So if you try it for an hour or stay for the whole month that rate will be applied.

    Happy holidays.