Gaggle? Multi? Quorum? Minyan? Clouds Everywhere!

As a person who deeply loves a good linguistic debate (I was once fascinated by the etymology of color names for weeks), I always am intrigued by the creation of a new marketing term in our industry – an industry that LOVES coining new, and often somewhat-less-than-inspiring terms.


The latest appears to be “Multi-Cloud”, which has been defined by Mr. Linthicum over at Infoworld as:

It’s more complex than a hybrid cloud, which is typically a paired private and public cloud.

So, if n > 2, we’re now calling it a multicloud. geese.jpg

Of course, this begs the question – when did hybrid get declared as a constant = 2? I suppose hybrid cars are gas + electric. And centaurs are men + horses. And the etymology of hybrid actually goes back to some animal husbandry roots in the pig family (if you’re curious). But, when thinking about clouds, when did hybrid mean “on premise + AWS and nothing more”?

I submit the answer is: never.

From the start, clouds seemed to be a melange of resources – physical servers, different hypervisors du jour, public cloud offerings, hosted/managed private clouds, a soupcon of SaaS, a ladle of PaaS. The list has always been a stew of options, all managed under the operating model we call “cloud,” with an emphasis on self-service, speed, and flexibility.  In fact, at some fundamental level, cloud itself was meant to obscure the genesis of all these services and wrap them in a homogenous friendly interface – that was its very value proposition.

So, I would argue that creating another term in this already jargony domain that simply counts beyond 2 to 3.. 4.. or 5.. is unnecessary. We’ve always been counting that high.

And somewhere out there, the platonic Hybrid Cloud has achieved this multi-sourced greatness and is probably more than a little irked at how little ambition we gave him credit for.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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