Cloud computing – linear utility or complex ecosystem?

June 22nd, 2008 | by ian |

Reuven of Enomaly speculates on whether there will be an analogue of Moore’s law for cloud computing, looking to coin “Ruv’s law.” I would like to see more detail on what it would postulate, presumably a linear relationship between growth in cloud computation and time. I think we would also agree this would need to stand the test of time before it would be considered “law.” Moore referred to a rather simple relationship between the number of transistors that can economically be used in electronic chips and time. The cloud is likely to become a very complex ecosystem, and defy simple linear rules of productivity. Rather I would expect the cloud to both behave in unexpected ways and exhibit emergent properties. On that note I am much more interested in the phase transitions, critical junctures where the properties of the system change radically, and what the underlying causes might be (technological breakthroughs, human behaviour, power shortages). I wouldn’t be shocked if the behaviour of clouds was as hard to predict as the weather (“5 day forecast calls for a 200 msec second standard deviation in latency with 10% probability of the jitters”) or the stock markets. I’m only slightly joking – my early experiences with sharing hosted grid computing resources have been variable (Mediatemple and Mosso have low cost plans). In any case I look forward to more clarity on cloud structure, composition, performance, any potential “laws” and above all the likelihood of rain… Anyone interested in a lively string of Q&A surrounding the much hyped “cloud computing” revolution should look in on the Google group for cloud computing and check what the insightful Alistair Croll of Bitcurrent has to say. Lots of folks are trying to define cloud computing these days (check out defogging the cloud for a nice simple explanation), and its hard to do partly due to a Cambrian explosion of diversity which makes the cloud(s) a fast moving target. As for me, I’m embracing the trend from the web operations trenches while keeping my sense of humour about the hype:The cloud has everything and the kitchen sink

  1. 9 Responses to “Cloud computing – linear utility or complex ecosystem?”

  2. By Julien on Apr 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hey there,

    I’m working on a presentation for a university seminar on cloud computing and I was wondering, if it would be possible, to use your illustration in this presentation. The presentation will neither be published, nor going public. It would be great and a big help, if you would allow it. Of course I will credit you in the presentation.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. By Maik on Jun 19, 2010 | Reply


    I have to write a paper regarding the legal problems of online scanning of personal data space by security agencies and how it is affected by cloud computing. I was looking for a graphic which could make the concept imaginable for a couple of lawyers and yours is by far the best I’ve found. Would it be okay if I use it in the presentation. It will not leave the seminar room!



  4. By ian on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    no problem!

  5. By ian on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    Sure thing!

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