January 26, 2011, 7:33 PM — Despite the efforts of half the computer industry to beat it to death with news-free press releases, cloud computing is still going strong and becoming even more of a focus for corporate technology managers.
Or was, until the big vendors came back this week with another round of me-too-ist self-promotion in an effort to drive all the remaining interest and some of the respectability from whole topic.
HP announced it would stop dinking around the edges by actually offering a compute-centric cloud service instead of just selling products to let customers build their own clouds.
Actually, this being HP, which figures too much is barely a start, not only are there far too many SKUs, there are far too many use of the word "cloud," especially right next to the name "HP."
HP's new thing is called HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute, which delivers "private cloud as a service" -- usually spelled "hosted servers" -- and integrates with on-premise HP CloudSystem private-cloud products including HP CloudStart, HP CloudService, (clap along, if you're feelin' it)HP Cloud Maps and HP Cloud Discovery Workshop, HP Cloud Assure, HP Operations Orchestration and HP Communications as a Service.
Most surveys say IT people find cloud really interesting.
They probably don't reflect the beliefs of those of you who have read this far.
Which is too bad, because Cisco is also adding "cloud" functions to the entry level storage array it sells for desktops, on the assumption that "cloud-based storage option" using its new partner Moxy is a lot sexier than saying customers have the chance to squeeze hundreds of gigabytes of data through their Internet connection so they'll be prepared for a disaster in a year when it finishes uploading.
Amazon actually did something useful, by releasing an alert system that allows IT people monitoring and managing the performance of apps in a cloud using a diagnostic console called CloudWatch.