In OSS world the cloud is quite often pointed as problematic. Still, many organisations rely on it, and most companies tend to “move to cloud”. But what is the cloud anyway, what are the driving forces behind that movement, and why some organisations are so critical about it? Let’s have non-historically accurate but functionnally acceptable high-view of how “moving to the cloud” became trendy.

What is the cloud anyway?

Depending on whether you talk to, people don’t think the cloud means the same thing:

  • Non-tech people will tell you the cloud is where they store their files (e.g. iCloud)
  • In the corporate world, people who take decision for the information system of the whole company will tell you the cloud is “AWS”, “Azure” or “Google Cloud Platform”
  • Project managers will tell you they pick low hanging fruits by doing a “lift and shift” of their on-premises application to the cloud
  • DevOps will tell you they “transform and rebuild to leverage the services the cloud provider offer”
  • Some vendors will tell you they provide a cloud solution “as a Service”

They are all right! The cloud is not well defined and can correspond to all of those definitions. The one thing that is common to every definition is the intent: the cloud is about offloading infrastructure, support, and sometimes even services to a third-party.

Clear blue sky

Large companies have needed to get computers to automate some of their workflow for at least 30 years. The companies relied on personal computers given to their employees, but also needed special computers that can be access from the whole company, and even sometimes from outside of the company: those are servers.

Servers can be fragile and require to be stored under certain conditions (of temperature notably) and to be plugged together in a network. The large rooms where the servers can run at