Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom most people know as an English poet, also wrote some very nice prose about words. For example he was the one who summed up poetry itself as being about, above all, choosing "the best possible words in the best possible order."
Another fellow who knew a thing or two about words was a predecessor of mine - by a few hundred years! - at Trinity College, Cambridge. His name was Archbishop Richard Chevenix Trench and he produced, among another things, a little volume call On The Study of Words. This was back in 1852.
At one point in this book, Trench is musing on the power of words and, in particular, the role that words play in paving the way for the public acceptance of ideas.
Some ideas, he notes, just don't seem to catch on until the right words are found to "nail" them down.
I was strongly reminded of Coleridge, and of Trench, when interviewing a technology CEO the other day about Cloud Computing. Because this particular CEO seemed to be a beacon of light amid the murky fog surrounding Cloud Computing. And what stuck in my mind particularly was his ability, just as Archbishop Trench noted, to "nail down" the essential value proposition of Cloud Computing.
One new term that he used and that struck me as particularly insightful was this: "Resource Cloud."
This term definitely resonates immediately with me as being one that will not just help, it will triumph. Instead of talking of hardware, of physical servers, what the world needs to do is think of there as existing a "Resource Cloud" in which providers of resources and consumers who use compute power are matched up.
"Those consumers don't need to know, and indeed don't care, where the resources are," said my CEO. "So let the providers with the hardware push it into the cloud while the consumers consume it by creating virtual machines."
"'I need X terabytes of storage at this kind of performance level, let us say Grade A performance, and I need 30 CPU cores,' the consumer might say, and the providers will run the hardware necessary to supply that need. IT runs the hardware side, but it doesn't manage the virtual side. That is done by the customer at via their Virtual Data Center."
So this is his vision, the vision also known loosely as "Virtualization 2.0"
But to my ear, "Resource Cloud" is the stronger metaphor, with more likelihood of catching on. And in 21 days' time I will revisit this posting to add the name of the CEO concerned. He already has established himself as thought leader in the world of technology. I haven't a doubt that he will come very soon to be recognized too as the man who put datacenter virtualization on the map forever and for always with the introduction of this one colloquy: REsource Cloud."
What do you think? Is it the best term? Do you have a better one?