This is not a cloud

After seeing my eleventy-billionth "cloud" product, I've decided to make a post about what is not a cloud product.

This is not a cloud:

This is not a cloud:

This is not a cloud:

And, although very cool, this is still not a cloud:

This is a cloud:

... although probably not what you're referring to when you think of clouds these days.

Still, lets take a look at the cloud, the real cloud, and try to describe it.

It's big

Clouds are big, and generally not shaped. When you're within a cloud (fog when it's at ground level), you can't really see the boundaries.

It just floats there

It's not tied down to anything, it's just up and floating around in the sky.

It's elastic

It's not constrained to a certain size, and often they grow and shrink seamlessly while you're not even looking.

So what is a Cloud in terms of computing?

But really, what does all this crazy talk have to do with cloud computing?

Quite simply, to be a cloud service, it has to be big, floating around, and elastic. To put it directly,
The internet is not just a big truck you can dump onto
... but a cloud is.