What I would want a "cloud" to do for me: a functional view

June 25, 2009 - by jason

I was on a panel at Enterprise 2.0 yesterday about “Cloud Computing” providers and wanted to take the entire definite of “what is cloud computing?” from a different perspective.

As a consumer, I fundamentally want the entire technology stack for an application to

  1. Just work
  2. Just scale
  3. Just tell me everything

Just works means that I tell an infrastructure that I want my application to have user experience X 99.99% of the time to 99.99% of the my users, and what I want back from that query is a dollar amount. I’ll then make a decision about what I can afford.

Just scales means that I can go from zero to millions of users, one geographical site to twenty geographical sites, and one continent to four continents without a rewrite/rearchitecting.

Just tells me everything means that an API and data source is not only about provisioning machine images or the like, it can be queried for real time and time series data about everything. It let’s me make decisions around latencies and nothing ever just happened for no reason.

When you think about what it would take for these things to come to fruition, it starts to feel like a real step forward in the industry. It’s the collection of these things (in existence or development) that I don’t mind giving a new term to.