Now, you’re reading this and thinking one of two things… either “what a fool” or “so what’s wrong with that statement?” - either way you should read on because there are several reasons this situation of theirs is not cloud computing.
It’s missing elasticity, meaning, they can’t simply add capacity on demand. Sure, they can create another virtual machine and distribute load as their software packages and architecture allows - but Cloud Computing is so much more than that. It’s about being able to add cores and memory on demand, without needing to buy physical metal … in most cases until you run out of ‘cloud capacity’…
It’s missing mobility, meaning, you can’t just take one virtual server and move it to some other environment. Now, I guess you can if you’ve got things like vMotion and some other cloud is using VMWare also …but this isn’t typical
It’s missing bursting capabilities, which means that when their virtual environment (not cloud) has hit capacity during a high usage period they can’t just spin up a few instances of their application architecture on another public cloud provider and go.
It’s missing self-service, which is what a lot of promise of Cloud Computing comes from. Taking IT from a provisioning group or builders of computing technology to brokers of that technology through a self-service. The ability for a business to go spin up a useful, template-driven compute instance is critical for Cloud Computing.
The necessary orchestration isn’t there, meaning that if Acme found that they needed to patch their virtual machines against a critical OS vulnerability, they’d have to go to each (virtual) machine and patch … yet what you’re looking for in a Cloud Computing environment is a patch-once type of capability which saves time, money, and critical IT resources and preserves uptime.
So, you see, this isn’t just as simple as buying a bunch of VMWare licenses, or using some of the other virtual platforms (I’m not picking on VMWare specifically here), Cloud Computing is fundamentally a cheaper, more robust, and more expansive way of computing.