What means Cloud Washing?

I have seen this topic a couple Cloud Washing a couple of time on the internet. Alone for my own understand I had a deeper look to understand. What means Cloud Washing?

Content

  • What means Cloud Washing in general?
  • What means Cloud-Computing?
  • What must contain a product to be a pure cloud-computing product?
  • What is the result of Cloud-Washing?
  • Where does the calling Cloud-Washing come from?
  • Is Cloud-Washing real?
  • What is an example between pure Cloud-Products and Cloud-Washing-Products?
  • Was are the consequences of Cloud-Washing Products?
  • Sources for this post
  • Last Word

What means Cloud Washing in general?

The first what I found was, that in regard to the popularity of Cloud. Some vendors take their old products, which wasn’t designed for the cloud and are not cloud native, and just connect them with some cloud vendors and call these products cloud product. Other vendors take these products and re-brand them as cloud products or cloud-native products.

What means Cloud-Computing?

Cloud-Computing contains in general, that the related services are reachable via an internet connection. In regard to that, some vendors change a bit of the product. What means that those are now as well reachable via the network. But this does not mean automatically that the product is now doing the service like it is defined as a cloud-computing product.

What must contain a product to be a pure cloud-computing product?

Those products, which called a cloud product or cloud-computing product must deliver as well:

  • User self-provisioning
  • Pay as you use
  • Virtualized infrastructure (meaning, this infrastructure, and platforms on which the product is running are delivered from a provider as service)
  • The solution must be scalable.
  • Hardliner would say as well, it must be multi-tenant.

In regard to that cloud-computing and the usage of cloud goes more and more popular. A lot of vendors want to get as well a part of that business. This is the reason, that they try to sell every product as a cloud product, even it isn’t.

What is the result of Cloud-Washing?

Cloud-Washing is, how I have found for me, a result of new defined products. Which are sold under the cloud umbrella. This behavior can confuse customers. On the other hand, companies go this way, because to be a cloud-, a cloud-hybrid- or a cloud & on-premise company does push the company value higher in these days.

So there will be customers, who do decide for products, which are called cloud-native products but not are.

This can curse problems with these decisions. Because of a long-term perspective, they will not get the features of cloud-native products.

Where does the calling Cloud-Washing come from?

The word Washing is taken from the word Painting, in regard of the Rebranding of a product. The product got a new painting for the rebranding. Is the same if you would take a one-year-old car and repaint it, to sell it as a new one.

Is Cloud-Washing real?

What I have seen so far, there are a couple of products out there, which I count cloud-washed products, but the products are not real cloud products in the content of Software-as-a-Service.

What is an example between pure Cloud-Products and Cloud-Washing-Products?

An easy case is. A user or customer needs for a use case cloud storage. For that to achieve there are two way to leverage cloud storage.

  1. One way is, to use an on-premise product, what must be installed on an on-premise server. If not available, the server must be bought as well. After all, is installed, then you can connect with the cloud provider and use the cloud storage as a target.
  2. The other way is to use a solution, which is built and running on a public cloud provider server and can be reached via browser or used via a small agent on a device, where it is for. No additional hardware and software needed.

What is the main difference between these two methods? With the on-premise solution, of course, you can reach and leverage the cloud. But these software targets cloud provider storage just as a storage because it is not running on it.

Compare to the on-premise solution, the pure cloud solutions are implemented and running on the provided infrastructure and platform of a cloud provider and from this point of view. Cloud solutions do use the storage of the cloud provider way more efficient like an on-premise connected solution.

Was are the consequences of Cloud-Washing Products?

Cloud-washing products using the cloud provider storage usually just as a pure storage. The on-premise solutions are usually acting in the way, how they were original concept. Even if these have a cloud connection build in.

Consequences are then a higher usage of cloud storage compared to a pure cloud solution. As well as on the regulations of the cloud providers, companies often have to pay for the cloud-computing, if they take the stored stuff back to on-premise. The reason, with on-premise products you will have a relationship/contract to the software vendor and additional to the cloud provider. These are two different contracts and the software vendor will take no responsibility for what you are doing with your cloud provider account.

Pure or native cloud build products using this cloud provider infrastructure and platforms more efficient with a smaller footprint. And usually, the cloud-computing usage is included. For that is the reason, that the cloud storage often is built in or included in the solution.

Results are very much reduced via a cloud-native product.

Sources for this post:

https://www.infoworld.com/article/3079773/cloud-computing/cloud-washing-goes-beyond-the-oracle-lawsuit.html

https://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/cloud-washing

https://www.service-architecture.com/articles/cloud-computing/cloud_washing.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2014/07/15/why-implement-cloud-when-cloudwashing-will-suffice/#6a36cb0d4169

Last Word

In regard to that, I’m not native English, your comments are appreciated.

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