Top 10 cloud computing definitions for cloud providers in 2011

Wanting to know what questions were keeping you up at night, we crunched the numbers to see which cloud computing definitions readers searched for the most this year.

The old proverb says the eyes are the windows to the soul. Poetic, yes, but no longer relevant. Time to update this, people. We're casting our vote for "Google search history is the window to the soul." With that in mind, we wanted to know what cloud questions are keeping our SearchCloudProvider.com devotees up at night as 2011 comes to an end. So to find the windows into your souls, we crunched the numbers to see which cloud computing definitions you searched for the most this year.

The existential cloud provider question:  Who am I?

We admit that our dime-store psychological analysis of the results may not be as deep as watching David After Dentist over and over again, but one thing stood out: The most popular definitions speak to the existential crises going on in the industry as cloud providers and managed service providers (MSPs) struggle to define themselves and their services in what is still a very murky market. Our prescription? A healthy dose of cloud provider tutorials and study guides to help you mix it up in the cloud provider market in 2012.

And now -- the top 10 cloud computing definitions

Ranked from least to most popular, here are our top 10 cloud computing definitions for 2011:

10. What is cloud portability? Good question, especially considering the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has zeroed in on it being a key area for improvement among cloud providers. Making it easier for customers to pick up their apps and change providers might sound counterintuitive, but it's a feature that will make you more attractive. You know, like weightlifting and learning to play guitar.

9. What is SlapOS? SlapOS is what you want to do to your forehead every time you get an email from that coworker (you know the one) who intentionally leaves the "Sent from my iPad" signature on his or her emails. Oh, wait -- you meant that SlapOS. Yeah, that one doesn't involve bodily harm. Usually.

8. What is GB billing? When mere mortals consume cloud services, they require gigabyte (GB) billing to pay for what they've used. When Chuck Norris consumes cloud services, the cloud pays him.  

7. What is the cloud ecosystem? As in biological ecosystems, organisms in a cloud ecosystem eat the next poor chump below them on the food chain. But cloud ecosystems, unfortunately, don't make as pretty shoebox dioramas.

6. What is Jamcracker? Besides being the pathetic little snack you make yourself when there's nothing left in the refrigerator except condiments, Jamcracker is also an effective multi-tenant cloud management platform. Mmm, delicious.

5. What is a telecom cloud provider?  This very curious breed of cloud provider is known for its conservative demeanor, compulsive trench digging and addiction to obscure acronyms. Despite these traits, it makes a great family pet.

4. What is cloud federation? Cloud federation has one thing going for it. It's only slightly less geeky than Star Trek's United Federation of Planets. But given the glacial pace of activity here, it may or may not have been conquered by the Borg. We'll get back to you on that next year.

3. What is a cloud provider? We know. This is the first question you ask yourself every morning when you look in the mirror. And we know you answer your reflection with that adorable crooked smile saying, "I am, you handsome devil."

2. What is a cloud broker (cloud agent)? Cloud brokers have the good fortune of not being associated with mortgage brokers, who aren't winning any popularity contests for their role in the worldwide economic meltdown. But our cloud broker friends should probably still hold onto any misaddressed hate mail. Just to be safe.

1.  What are cloud services? Do you have six hours to kill? Good, because that's how much time sane individuals could spend asking peers, scouring the Internet and reading dozens of whitepapers before their heads explode trying to find a consistent answer to this question. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Jessica Scarpati, Site Editor.

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