Re: What is the definition of a "Cloud"
Cloud is the new name we like to give to Hosting.
We have been using the cloud platform for years, only we called it housing, colocation, hosting and whatnot.
with the emergence of virtualization, the hosting solutions moved from providing bare metal servers and storage into providing virtual platforms, easily divided into rentable chunks of capacity.
The big differentiator between cloud and regular hosting, is the automation layer that is added to the platform.
the cloud allows its users to deploy virtual machines in an automated way, the automation layer takes care of all the tricky parts of the deployment. It creates virtual networks, manages the underlying storage, creates and generates virtual machines and deploys applications. All the cloud user really needs to do, is own and configure/manage the application he wants to deploy in the cloud.
Public clouds give you the least amount of control over the environment you pay for.
private clouds allow for a lot more customization of the platform in terms of performance and capacity.
Enterprise customers will never move critical servers into the public cloud space, for several reasons... no guarantees of performance, limited security features, no SLA on uptime, no guarantees on bandwith,... the public cloud will alwyas have a limited range of uses. for anything else, there is the private or hybrid formula. which is essentially the same, apart for location and customizability.