Splitting the Cloud in Three

Last week I attended the Rackspace Customer Event (Lombardi Blueprint is hosted at Rackspace) down on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  It was a great event and I sat in on some cool talks as well as grabbed some time with several of the Rackspace execs.

Later this week and/or early next week I will be posting the podcasts I did with CEO Lanham Napier, CTO John Engates as well as Mosso co-founder Jonathan Bryce.


The Riverwalk at dusk.

One of the talks I sat in on was CTO John Engates’ Cloud Computing presentation.  You can check out the whole presentation here, but the section I wanted to call out was the one that dealt with “The Categories of Cloud Computing.” While not an original construct, it helped me to see it laid out like this:

Application Clouds (SaaS)

  • Ease of use: Low complexity
  • Flexibility: Minimal control
  • Typical Consumers: End users
  • Examples: Mail Trust, Salesfore.com, Blueprint, TurboTax Online, Microsoft Online Services

Platform Clouds (PaaS*)

  • Ease of use: Medium complexity
  • Flexibility: Medium control
  • Typical Consumers: Developers
  • Examples: Rackspace/Mosso Hosting Cloud, Google AppEngine, Force.com, Azure

Infrastructure Clouds (IaaS)

  • Ease of use: High complexity
  • Flexibility: Maximum control
  • Typical Customers: Developers, System Administrators
  • Examples: Rackspace/Mosso Cloud Files, EC2, S3, Microsoft SSDS, FlexiScale, GoGrid

*Not to be confused with PAAS.

While I find these categories helpful now, I’m sure it won’t be long until these divisions go the way of “intranet,” “extranet,” and “internet,” and there’s just one big happy cloud.


Where it all began“The Original Cloud” TM.

Pau for now…

5 Responses to Splitting the Cloud in Three

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