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Interop: Oracle Predicts Cloud Confusion to Continue

Confusion about the definition of cloud computing will likely continue, Peter Laird, managing architect for Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL)'s WebCenter product group, said Wednesday in a session at Interop New York, where he laid out his own taxonomy of cloud computing.

"It's an evolving space, and so the definitions, you may have different opinions about how valid they are," Laird said. By presenting a list of disparate definitions, Laird showed how even self-proclaimed experts have widely diverging views of what exactly cloud computing entails.

Cloud computing is but the latest computing term to find itself ill defined. The most prominent recent example of hazy terms is Web 2.0, though the list also includes Enterprise 2.0, unified communications, mashup, and REST.

Solidification of cloud computing's definition faces a number of challenges, Laird said, including the relative youth of the term, which has only become popular within the last year.

"We're going to see a lot of vendors rushing into the space," Laird said. "If you see a vendor saying they've got a cloud solution, it may or may not be a cloud solution." That phenomenon would be similar to the one experienced at the height of Web 2.0 frenzy within the last few years. Companies are also beginning to refer to hosting and virtualization products as cloud computing, though it's unclear whether that's actually the case without a solid definition of the term.

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