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Storm Clouds

When The Wall Street Journal writes a front-page story making fun of cloud computing and cloud storage and cloud this and cloud that, you know we have reached a tipping point in the world of technology.

Under the mocking headline "The Internet Industry Is on a Cloud -- Whatever That May Mean", writers Geoffery Fowler and Ben Worthen wrote one of the newspaper's trademark in-depth features on the use of the word "cloud" and how tech companies "are jockeying to associate themselves with clouds." Along with jokes and puns on the word "cloud," the story points out that "few agree on the term's definition".

One amusing quote from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison early in the story: "I have no idea what anyone is talking about. It's really just complete gibberish. What is it?"

The Journal saved the punchline for near the end of the story when it reported that even Oracle has jumped on the cloud bandwagon. It seems that Ellison, in an earnings call earlier this month, said Oracle's upcoming software would be "cloud-computing ready."

I point this out because you are going to be hearing a lot more about clouds as we approach the spring technology tradeshow season. There are a whole host of cloud announcements scheduled from a wide variety of vendors, and some of them seem to offer promising products and services that will appeal to some enterprises looking to outsource their computing and/or storage needs to a third party. Expect to hear some grand promises that this cloud storage service or that cloud platform will solve all of your IT problems, save you money, let storage administrators or IT generalists sleep better at night, and solve world hunger.

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