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

On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 8:01 PM, Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> wrote:
>     > Would the term "convenient management of VMs" fit these features?
>     > It seems that way.
>     Richard,
>     I think the end goal of all these frameworks, is to leverage a small
>     sysadmin/networking team to manage a large pool of resources, that
>     could include, but is not limited to:
>     1) Physical servers
>     2) Hypervisors
>     3) Networking equipment
>     4) OS installation
>     5) Block storage (drives)
>     6) DNS/DHCP
>     7) TFTP (and any other services required to support provisioning of
>     bare metal servers and VMs)
> "Convenient management of VMs" seems to fit all these.
> Do you think that expression is wrong?

Ignoring the fact the "Iaas Cloud" can also cover management of
resources like load balancer instances, databases, firewalls and
physical machines via the same APIs, I don't think that "Convenient
management of VMs" is entirely "wrong" per se. Nor would I say that
the statement "Free Software is software that doesn't cost money and
gives you access to the source" is wrong either. Both statements are
largely factually true. (but miss the point.)

Both "IaaS Cloud" and "Free Software" have a lot of meanings that are
not necessity apparent to casual readers. We need to agree on terms,
and live by them, even when they are not very explicit, and not
readily apparent. This is addressed through education. (In both cases
we should consider ourselves lucky as many readers know what we mean.)

"Iaas Cloud" does allow "convenient management of VMs", but so do
other technologies, including libvirt, vsphere, ovirt, and a number of
other technologies that are aimed specifically at "convenient
management of VMs".

What makes "IaaS Cloud" unique, is:

1) It can manage the whole infrastructure and not just the hypervisor
2) It *can* also allow the allocation of resources other than VMs
3) It provides an API and self service interface to consumers of the
resources, to allow them to manage their consumption of these
resources, without needing those who built the infrastructure to
assist in allocation.

I'll bring up the NIST definition of IaaS cloud, which I believe is
about as accurate and precise of a phrase that we could use as as an
alternative: "The capability provided to the consumer is to provision
processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing
resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary
software, which can include operating systems and applications. The
consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud
infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and
deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select
networking components (e.g., host firewalls)."

I prefer to use "IaaS cloud" where it will be understood, and where it
isn't, I educate. (As I do with "Free Software")


> --
> Dr Richard Stallman
> President, Free Software Foundation
> 51 Franklin St
> Boston MA 02110
> www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
> Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
>   Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call

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