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So, Is SaaS Cloud Computing or Not?

November 07, 2008 | By Jeff Freund
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Cloud Computing is rapidly becoming the buzz word du jour.  As with all emerging buzz words, it is a term that means many different things to many different people and a consistent industry wide definition is yet to emerge.  Some like to take a narrow approach and define Cloud Computing as only pure, virtualized utility services like storage and CPU usage.  Others have created a much broader approach to defining Cloud Computing, encompassing everything from utility services to MSPs to SaaS to  seemingly anything else that connects to the internet.

I’d say that my own current definition has been altered by a conversation I had last week with Eric Knorr, Editor in Chief of InfoWorld.  I used to take the narrower view of Cloud Computing, and distinguished that Cloud Computing was truly the realm of “infrastructure components” (ie. Amazon S3) while Saas was the domain of full on demand applications (ie. Salesforce.com).  Eric started our discussion with the  premise that “the cloud“ was originally a metaphor for the internet, and therefore Cloud Computing encompasses all services, platforms, and applications accessed over the internet.  When explained this way, the broader view of Cloud Computing makes sense to me – it adds some structure to the fuzzy topics .  It also aligns well as a starting point in the discussion of the value proposition of cloud computing, as each of these sub-areas is geared towards the same goal: allowing IT organizations to add on-demand capacity or functionality to their overall IT landscape.



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