There’s brainwashing. And whitewashing. And greenwashing. And now there's “cloudwashing.” When an enterprise software vendor sticks the word “cloud” onto its products for no apparent reason other than to spark interest and latch on to a trend, that’s cloudwashing, and according to Information Week’s Charles Babcock, it’s happening far too often. “Despite the fact that some parts of the cloud are loosely defined, not everybody is bringing products to market worthy of the name 'cloud,'” he says. Case in point, Babcock’s worst offender: Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud.
[It’s] a name that contains so many contradictions of the definition of cloud computing that it threatens to render the term meaningless. It's an old-fashioned appliance that's been renamed "a cloud in a box," when we thought the cloud couldn't be put in a box. Granted, some automated administration applies, thanks to all that highly engineered integration, but where is the end user self-provisioning, charging based on use, those economies of scale that are supposed to be part of the cloud environment, and the escape from lifetime licenses? What's in the box, judging by the price tag, is a whole bunch of lifetime licenses for previous-generation software. This is pre-cloud middleware and applications wrapped up in a cloud bow.
Don’t be fooled by a name when you’re researching cloud-based solutions. Sometimes, it seems, marketing trumps technology. Want more proof? On Wednesday, cloud consulting company Appirio awarded the Cloudwashies—sarcastic plaudits for the top cloudwashers. Do any of the winners look familiar to you?