In the last few days, i thought a little bit about cloud computing. As you may know as a frequent reader of this blog, i have a strong dislike to any hype topic. Virtualisation is such a topic and cloud computing is something overhyped, too. At first: I don´t think, that cloud computing is a technology. It´s a business process. It´s the business process to deploy servers with a standardized components and bill them. Do you remember the N1 vision of Sun? Well, it was one of this visions of Sun, that came to early for the market. It was the vision to centrally control the deployment of system for other users. In my opinion, cloud computing is nothing else than N1SPS in conjunction with accounting in conjunciton with resource management in conjunction with Solaris Containers in conjunction with a system collects and processes usage data records and feed it to a credit card transaction system. Besides of the credit card system everything is already there for years available for Sun. Some years ago, many people told us : Nah … nobody needs it. Today: We want cloud! We want cloud! A really strange development. At second: Cloud Computing is interesting as it has two medals. It´s the ultimate commoditisation and it´s the ultimate decommoditisation of technology. From the view of the customer, IT is reduced to the provided interfaces. It´s like power, as long it´s 220V at 50 hertz it doesn´t matter where it came from (and many tree huggers in southern germany would wonder that there 100% organic electricity generated by wind mills in northern germany, is indeed generated by french nuclear plants). As long as the cloud-provided J2EE container complies to the standard. At the other end it´s the end of commoditization. Providers of clouds have something many of the small users of IT doesn´t: Load … a lot of load. They have a need for the most efficient system with the most efficient operating system with the most efficient applications. If for example an operating system is just 5 percent more cost efficent, this matters. If the webserver is 5 percent efficent, this matters. Good enough isn´t good enough in such situations. Or memory. When it´s just your own mailserver you may tolerate memory or hard disks from the hardware shop at the next corner. If there are 500 mailservers on it … well … the equation looks different. You can´t use commodity components … at least when you want to deliver the same or a better availability as a user is used to from his or her own IT.. I see in cloud computing a chance, that some rational thinking about quality will take place in IT again. On the other side, it´s just a overhyped collective term for some really old technologies in a new mix. At the end it isn´t even a technology, it´s a business modell … and this explains, why a book shop is one of the important players in this area.