I don’t get it, but I admit I’ve not tried all that hard.
I actually don’t get “cloud computing.” No, I know the basics principles, but I don’t get why I need it, would ever want it, or ever care. Like “distributed computing” in an enterprise, it sounds economical in theory, but it seems otherwise impractical in the real world.
I understand that standard services can be outsourced/offloaded/clouded (depending on what era your marketing terms come from), like DNS or web acceleration or proxying. Or an Amazon storefront. Or CMS software. Or backup services from your data center. Whether I am Joe Blow or Susie Q, my needs will be pretty much the same thing and both of us can be serviced easily by the provider/outsourcer/clouder/offloader.
But I feel this only works when what you need is predictable by the vendor providing it, i.e. the more customized your needs are, the less you will ever be happy with what someone else builds. I see this quarterly in the pain levels of implementing third-party software and applications versus having in-house developers roll their own.
Fine, high-end number crunching may work, but I think those organizations with that need already invest a lot in the people designing such number crunching, and can probably fit into clouds better just by sheer numbers and mass. The people who still use mainframes, I guess. Maybe that’s the problem, maybe I’m just not in the mainframe space…
Update: I use my ISPs DNS services. Is that cloud computing? I also use GoDaddy as my registrar, and I may someday move to shared hosting. Is that also cloud computing? See, I don’t get it. 🙂
So it gets back to, why should I ever care about the cloud? I feel it sounds nice on paper, and for the few people who jump in with proper expectations it will be “just fine,” but for everyone else I think it will be more difficult to wrap heads around than keeping the computing in-house.