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Merely storing your stuff online is not cloud computing

Yan Pritzker's Blog

I’ve noticed people lately have been saying things like "I am cloud computing because my mail is now on gmail ZOMG" - but storing your mails on the internets is not cloud computing, it’s just online storage. Uploading pics from your phone directly to the web is not cloud computing. Google Docs is not cloud computing. Just storing something on the Intraweb does not mean you’re "using cloud computing."

So stop abusing my favorite buzzword :-)

Cloud computing is a far more interesting and far reaching shift than the ability to store your stuff ‘out there’. I think the fundamental principle that defines cloud computing is on-demand resource provisioning. Whether it’s storage or computing power, it means that startups no longer have to spend money up front on data centers. It means that enterprises can save tons of money by not having servers out there idling and burning cash.

And even though there are detractors who will say “cloud computing is grid technology rebranded with a new buzzword”, they are just like the people who said “AJAX is DHTML and we had it in the 90s”. These people are missing the point. Having terminology to describe a phenomenon is a Good Thing. It enables us to easily refer to it and build on top of it. But let’s make sure we understand what’s happening before we apply this new buzzword to every online service under the sun, because then we’re limiting its usefulness.

About Yan Pritzker
Yan Pritzker is a software developer and a "startup guy." He is currently Senior developer at CohesiveFT working on He enjoys expressive languages where you can stick to ideas (Ruby) and dislikes languages that make you care about what the computer wants (C). He is the founder of Planypus, a place to share plans with your friends (

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

Hello Yan, I liked your blog, but could you please elaborate more on: "Google Docs is not cloud computing. Just storing something on the Intraweb does not mean you’re "using cloud computing." What is really "using cloud computing"?

Your Feedback
leo popokh wrote: Hello Yan, I liked your blog, but could you please elaborate more on: "Google Docs is not cloud computing. Just storing something on the Intraweb does not mean you’re "using cloud computing." What is really "using cloud computing"?
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