Hype confuses cloud customers who actually know more about it than they think

Data-center services aren't radically different in the "cloud" than anywhere else


So people worry about cloud management, because they don't know where to start looking for the controls.

And they worry about performance because they don't know what to expect.

And they worry about security, because they know there have to be holes and weaknesses, but they don't know what they are, and don't necessarily even know where to look.

Cloud cognoscentus Bernard Golden points out a couple of fundamental misunderstandings about cloud security, both of which depend on the ignorance of the IT department that owns them to evolve from serious flaws to complete disasters.

And they freak out even more about cloud security when they imagine the whole idea of cloud security will deflate like a pin-pricked balloon after they hear researchers successfully hacked a private cloud, not understanding as well as they think that "cloud" platforms are just data centers wearing a waiter's tux instead of a handyman's coverall.

And they worry "the cloud" is corrupt because hackers used Amazon to crack Sony's PlayStation Network (and other things), because they know, but don't really understand that rentable horsepower is just horsepower for rent and anyone can use it for whatever they want without turning it into a good thing or bad thing on its own.

And they wonder if it's a joke headline from TheOnion when I write a blog with a headline pointing out that clouds are built on data centers, because they either didn't think of cloud that way, or think it's too obvious to be sarcasm.

It was sarcasm, because "the cloud" is a nice coat of paint on a data center and Amazon EC2, no matter how well designed and run, is just as fallible as any other data center or type of technology. It's also just as prone to misuse – so don't get too excited about hackers using it for extra horsepower. They could just as easily have built and used their own clouds – called botnets – except it's now cheaper for many of them to use Amazon than build a botnet.

Cloud computing is new, but it's not mysterious; it's not magical, it's not untouchable or unquestionable.

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