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Everything is the Cloud and The Cloud is Everything

The cloud operating model is everywhere these days, and just about everything is now called cloud. This episode of the Tech Field Day podcast, recorded live at Cloud Field Day 20, includes Stephen Foskett, Jeffrey Powers, Alastair Cooke, and Steve Puluka discussing the true meaning of the term cloud computing. Cloud has evolved from its initial definition by NIST in 2012. The cloud concept is ubiquitous, adopted from personal devices to industrial IoT and data centers. The cloud operating model abstracts the complexity of underlying infrastructure, allowing businesses to focus on their core differentiators. But even though the cloud is everywhere, the panelists concluded that while the cloud is everywhere, not everything is the cloud.

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Watch the presentations and more on the Cloud Field Day 20 Event Page here.

Everything in tech is called “cloud,” from personal devices to industrial IoT, data centers, and beyond. The evolution of cloud computing, which was formally defined by NIST in 2012, has seen the concept permeate various sectors, transforming how services are delivered and consumed. Initially, cloud services were the domain of large data centers operated by companies like AWS, Azure, and Alibaba. However, over the past decade, cloud principles have been adopted by smaller companies, the VMware community, and even personal users, making the cloud a universal operating model rather than just a location.

The core appeal of the cloud lies in its ability to abstract the complexities of underlying infrastructure, allowing businesses to focus on differentiating their services rather than managing hardware intricacies. This shift has led to a significant reduction in the need for detailed knowledge about hardware configurations, as cloud services handle these aspects seamlessly. The cloud operating model enables businesses to allocate resources more efficiently, focusing on application development and operational excellence rather than hardware maintenance.

The future of storage and computing is increasingly leaning towards a combination of cloud services and mobile devices. The younger generation, for instance, is more inclined to use mobile devices for tasks traditionally performed on laptops. This trend is supported by the cloud’s ability to provide a seamless experience across devices, ensuring that data and applications are accessible regardless of the hardware in use. This shift is evident in the rise of devices like Chromebooks, which rely heavily on cloud services for storage and application delivery.

In the enterprise realm, the cloud’s influence is equally profound. While data gravity and latency considerations still necessitate on-premises deployments for certain applications, the cloud operating model is becoming the standard. Modern applications are designed to accommodate the latency and caching mechanisms inherent in cloud environments, enabling seamless operation regardless of the physical location of the infrastructure. Legacy applications, while still present, are gradually being replaced or virtualized to fit into this new paradigm.

The edge, traditionally characterized by proprietary hardware, has also undergone a transformation. Today, edge locations utilize standard servers running virtual machines or containerized applications orchestrated by platforms like Kubernetes. This approach mirrors the cloud operating model, where local servers act as caches for cloud services, ensuring resilience and flexibility. The edge has, in many ways, become more cloud-like than traditional data centers, embracing the principles of abstraction and orchestration.

Despite these advancements, the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Certain applications, particularly those with stringent latency and data sovereignty requirements, may still necessitate on-premises deployments. However, the overarching trend is towards a cloud-centric model, where infrastructure is managed and consumed as a service, regardless of its physical location. This shift is driven by the need for agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, which the cloud model inherently provides.

In conclusion, while not everything is the cloud, the cloud is indeed everywhere. It has become the default operating model for modern IT services, extending from personal devices to enterprise data centers and edge locations. The cloud’s principles of abstraction, orchestration, and service-based delivery have permeated all aspects of technology, making it an integral part of the digital landscape. As technology continues to evolve, the cloud will remain a central theme, shaping how services are delivered and consumed in an increasingly connected world.

Podcast Information:

Stephen Foskett is the Organizer of the Tech Field Day Event Series, now part of The Futurum Group. Connect with Stephen on LinkedIn or on X/Twitter.

Steve Puluka is an IP architect and a retired network administrator. You can connect with Steve on X/Twitter or on LinkedIn and learn more about him on his website.

Alastair Cooke is a CTO Advisor at The Futurum Group. You can connect with Alastair on LinkedIn or on X/Twitter and you can read more of his research notes and insights on The Futurum Group’s website.

Jeffrey Powers is the Moderator and Lead Tech at Geekazine. You can connect with Jeffrey on X/Twitter or on LinkedIn and learn more about Geekazine on their website.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Tech Field Day Podcast. If you enjoyed the discussion, please remember to subscribe on YouTube or your favorite podcast application so you don’t miss an episode and do give us a rating and a review. This podcast was brought to you by Tech Field Day, home of IT experts from across the enterprise, now part of The Futurum Group.

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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