I had a pretty interesting conversation on Linkedin about Cloud Computing. A member of one of the groups I’m in poised the question – What’s the difference between App Virtualization ala Citrix and Cloud Computing. I stated that Citrix can be used to provide Cloud platform or services. Two other members suggested that it was more of a fringe type of cloud computing.
One member suggested that one of the requirements of cloud computing is that it’s more scalable and resilient than a Citrix type of solution or something that can be done in the traditional enterprise. This got me to thinking of some of the offerings that are labeled Cloud. Some of the services that came to mind are the big players in the group. They include Amazon’s S3, Google Apps, Salesforce.com.
But then I thought of some of the other services that are marketed as “Cloud” offerings. I see Hosted Exchange offered all over the place. I’m certain that plenty of these providers don’t have multiple datacenters and the resiliency of gMail. I also brought ADP into the discussion as they offer a “Cloud” product based on Citrix. So, it got me to asking the question what is the definition of “Cloud”?
I found this InfoWorld article that explores the question very well. The author establishes two basic categories of Cloud Services. There’s the Computing on Demand model such as Amazons S3 and then there’s everything else. They then go on to break it down into 7 different types of cloud offerings.
I tend to define Cloud Computing as anything that provides services to the Enterprise via the Internet or Private connection and is supported and maintained by a 3rd party. This could be a SaaS offering like Salesforce.com or virtual servers provided by Rackspace. The basic need is met which is to extend/expand enterprise services without expanding the infrastructure. This is one of the many advantages of Cloud Services.
So, I l believe that a Citrix based offering can be defined as a Cloud Service.
I’d love to hear feedback.