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Re: Please let's not talk about "clouds"

On Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 9:01 AM, Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> wrote:
> Le Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 07:32:40AM -0400, Brian Gupta a écrit :
>> Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that we should avoid
>> analogies, if we are to use these terms at all. Please note the status
>> of the page you linked being a draft. It appears that text was taken
>> from someone's email post as a placeholder and hasn't really been
>> discussed yet by this group. I don't believe there is a consensus yet
>> on any sort of overall "philosophy" here, and I personally would
>> strongly argue against promoting that draft to official Debian
>> guidance.
> Hi Brian,
> I created this page last month and asked for comments on this list.
>     https://lists.debian.org/debian-cloud/2013/03/msg00070.html
> I think that Richard has a point when recommending to avoid potentially
> confusing analogies and being clear on what we mean by "cloud".  If that draft
> is not satisfying it will not go further, and if it is harmful as it is, let's
> delete it.

I'd say that the draft certainly was helpful in that it kicked off an
important discussion. I suspect we will be replacing it soon enough,
so I don't really care if we leave it up or remove it, and will defer
to others' opinions here.

> One point that I think that is important to make, is that points of view
> diverge on the question of "software as a service", and that the answer is
> external to the foundation principles of Debian.
> If the discussions on this list are enough, that would be the best, but I
> am worried that we need more...

I see that this perhaps your posting got lost in the discussions
regarding the wording of our press release related to the new images.
My apologies to you and Paul for not providing feedback at that time.
Did you get any feedback (on or off-list)?

My personal believe is that while "Cloud computing" is an overloaded,
ambiguous term, we should not run away from it, but clarify how it
fits in with Debian.

I'll take a stab at some definitions that may be helpful. (Please feel
free to change and/or discard, as I'm not 100% satisfied with my own
wording and feel they could use some further tweaking and input.)

Cloud Computing - The use of computing resources that are delivered
over a network as a service. Generally Cloud computing services are
broken down into three subcategories:
  IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) - Computers, physical or virtual,
and other building blocks provided as an on-demand service. Typically,
anything that can be built using IaaS components can also be built
using traditional computing resources in a fairly straight forward
manner. (Largely the difference is the business model, and the manner
of consumption and procurement of said resources.)
  PaaS (Platform as a Service) - An abstract computing platform
delivered as a service, where the users can run and deploy their
applications, but the details and management of the underlying OS and
frameworks supporting running of the code are abstracted away from the
user. To date most PaaS platforms are not DFSG compliant.
  SaaS (Software as a Service) - An application delivered as a
service. Users do not typically have access to the source code, nor
can they control much of the experience. To date most SaaS platforms
are not DFSG compliant.

I'd say that the Debian project is not of one mind enough to support
SaaS or even PaaS for that matter, and our Cloud initiatives should,
for now, remain focused on IaaS, and particular the ability to run
Debian as a guest OS on Public and Private IaaS Clouds. (I believe I
am just capturing the status quo here.) Debian of course, is "the
universal operating system" and our users should have the freedom to
use Debian to build whatever they want, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
Public or Private Cloud offerings.


> Cheers,
> --
> Charles Plessy
> Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan
> --
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