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I just got an email in my inbox advertising faxing by cloud. Remember the fax machine? Back in the day, it was magic. And $4/page. And required a special magical role of fax paper that cost a fortune. Then it became part of your home printer that required a phone line. Then it became reasonably obsolete. Now we have scanners and email. Fax is often spam. Our kids wont even know what a fax is.

So it was all the more disturbing to see "Discover the Clear Advantages of Cloud Faxing" hit my inbox. I can barely fathom what the advantages of faxing are, regardless of the medium. And what is CLOUD faxing, as distinct from normal faxing??

Apparently cloud faxing - which feels a bit like scanning and emailing - with a phone number instead of an email address - is the secret to organizational betterment. It can drastically reduce your (faxing) costs. It can improve your ERP rollout. And while I don't doubt that scanning is a vast improvement over traditional faxing - what part of this is cloud?

Everything has become cloud. I even saw a reference to the human cloud (read: outsourcing) the other day. It's gone way over the edge. I was just accepting the paradigm of on-demand IT resources when someone went and stretched it to include any request for anything that is delivered to anyone anytime. Ordering pizza on the internet for delivery will be rebranded "the dining cloud" next week.

If you're going to implement a cloud computing strategy, focus on the core. Do your best to identify your company's needs. Don't let this hype and branding madness get in the way of true IT transformation. And I promise I wont fax you anything anytime soon.

To weigh in, comment below! I'll begrudgingly read your thoughts. To suggest a rant - email me at


The Curmudgeon is getting a little fed up with vendors who introduce new solutions into IT organizations, without regard for existing investments in technology, process, and people.  Yet again this week, the Curmudgeon has found himself having to explain to a prospective customer why BMC’s approach was different, and why we explicitly designed our solutions to allow for an evolutionary approach.  How our common and consistent management across existing physical and virtual environments delivers the best of both worlds, and exploring with the customer some specific areas in their IT environment where our approach could prove worthwhile.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy having a differentiated approach and solution – especially one that gets customers excited and interested in our solutions.  It’s just a hassle to have to…wait a minute. Nevermind!  I *love* having a differentiated story, especially one that gets customers excited, and provides them with a clear evolutionary path forward.   Go ahead, vendors, and keep espousing your siloed and incompatible offerings! I am sure that your customers will embrace them.

Whether the Weather 

Posted by Cloud Curmudgeon Oct 14, 2010

You know, there are a limited number of meteorological references that a world of bored marketers can conjure. At least, I hope so, because these are getting pretty old. Why must every single cloud piece of collateral or advertising make some hokey “storm clouds ahead!” goofiness? There are whole companies who built their brand on punnery. It’s tedious. Cloud Shmoud – it’s just another name for distributed computing, with a fancy new twist. If you’ve been around as long as I have, the only thing that is assured is that the next silly IT analogy is just around the corner.


Did you read The Phantom Tollbooth as a child? Great book. Doldrums and Jumping to Conclusions – and Tock, the watchdog. One of my favorite characters, however, is the Whether man. Not a weather man – a Whether man. Let’s take a cue from him and ask some questions about our current cloudy predicament… I wonder:


  • Whether hybrid clouds are the merger of cumulus and nimbus clouds – the cumulonimbus variety?
  • Whether clouds are more common in watery environments? Hydroelectric power does seem to determine their location.
  • Whether hosted flight simulators will now feature cockpit views of cloudy datacenters?


Ridiculous, right? One thing is true in the analogy, however. In a recent news story, it was explained that real clouds actually weigh a ton – or more accurately, many tons. Fluffy though they seem, they are portly creatures. Similarly, all these computing clouds are still heavy with hardware, ensuring that while the marketers of cloud may be aiming high… the technology’s base is firmly on the ground.

To weigh in, comment below! I'll begrudgingly read your thoughts. To suggest a rant - email me at


I thought I'd quit my grumbling for the week and lend my podium to a good friend, Clarence the Cloud, who had a few words he'd like to share. He may become a regular around these parts. Let's see how this goes. Clarence?

Confessions from an Angry Cloud

By Clarence the Cloud


I am so stressed. All this publicity about the cloud is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on me to deliver. You see, I’m a cloud. And I can’t go anywhere without someone trying to figure out exactly what I do for a living. They are always asking me questions, like “am I private, public, or hybrid?”  And then, I keep hearing those corny cloud jokes – “Why did you ruin a sunny day in your IT environment?” Or, “Being a cloud sounds like such a downer. Can’t you just brighten up the infrastructure?” They automatically assume that just because of my name alone I’m going to be grumpy and difficult to work with. Please…give me a break. Okay?


A good cloud delivers services. That’s my job 24x7. I pride myself for playing an important part in letting people have reliable, trusted, and IT secure services. So don’t ask me all about the infrastructure, hypervisiors, virtualization, and all those complicated terms that are the buzzwords used by IT people. Just try to understand my job.  Then maybe you can appreciate me and see how what I can do for you.


What? You think you don’t need me? Think again. I can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency, and be more responsive to the business…just like I am. In fact, with my help you can you pick the services you need when you need them. Thanks to my efforts (okay…and some work your part and technology) you can save lots of money. I hope you appreciate that! And did I mention that I am super scalable and robust? And humble?


What you should really be concerned about is how to manage me. Fortunately, I can be managed, with the right resources.  For starters, you need a self-service portal so users can manage the services they request from me. Yeah, as if I couldn’t manage the services by myself. Whatever. And then you need flexible provisioning capabilities for the services you send my way. This will allow your customers to have flexibility they need, within constraints defined by you—yes, you are still in charge. The right solutions for cloud planning, operations, and governance will help you stay on track.


Admittedly, I can’t do it all on my own, so an effective cloud lifecycle management solution will easily integrate into your existing management technologies. That will allow you to leverage your policies, people, processes, and tools across your entire infrastructure. But it’s so wrong to say that effectively managing me requires excessive resources.


Now that you understand why I am so important to your success, you’re probably thinking, “So, how do I figure out what to send to Clarence the Cloud and what to do keep internally?” Stay tuned for my next blog and I’ll give you the details. In the meantime, check out this article: Four Strategies for Moving to the Cloud .

Thanks, Clarence... I'll get back to my regularly scheduled curmudging next week.

To weigh in, comment below! I'll begrudgingly read your thoughts. To suggest a rant - email me at