The Truth about Cloud-Washing


With so much buzz about 'the cloud' in the last few years, many vendors are trying to rebrand old products with the buzzword to make it seem as though they are offering a modern-day cloud solution, when in fact they are not. This is known in the industry as 'cloud-washing' and is a dishonest and unethical marketing tactic. The term 'wash' in this case is to apply a thin layer of paint to freshen something up and make it look new. These companies are trying to make their old products and services seem new by adding the term 'Cloud' to it. This article intends to clear a few things up so that you can be confident you are choosing a true cloud solution.

The definition of cloud computing as per Wikipedia goes as follows;

Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

Some vendors are taking this definition apart and branding any part of their product that requires internet to run, as a Cloud solution. This is somewhat deceitful and should be addressed so that buyers are educated on what exactly The Cloud is.

A true Cloud solution also offers;

  • User self-provisioning
  • Pay-per-use billing
  • A multi-tenant architecture.
  • A virtualized infrastructure
  • Linear scalability

The three main types of cloud computing are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

SaaS - is software that is deployed over the Internet, available to the end user as and when wanted. Hence, it’s also known as “software on demand”. Payment can either be as per usage or on a subscription model.

PaaS - Platform as a Service is a paradigm for delivering operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. It provides infrastructure on which software developers can build new applications or extend existing ones without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software and provisioning hosting capabilities.

IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service is where companies provide off-site server, storage, and networking hardware, which you rent and access over the Internet. Freed from maintenance costs and wasted office space, companies can run their applications on this hardware and access it anytime.

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