Cloud Cred? Oh Really?

Posted on March 12, 2013 by

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I stumbled along the Cloud Cred site setup by none other than the Cloud confused VMware. After initially deciding not to sign up, boredom got the better of me, and I created an account.

First, when you sign up you are assigned to a team, and your team works to complete “tasks” to earn Cloud Cred. Think of Cloud Cred as “Klout” in the “Cloud” world. This Cloud Cred earns you great prizes such as a pen, t-shirt, or hat. (Because what every tech person needs is more crappy swag they already get at conferences.) Hit 35,000 Cloud Cred Points and get entered into a drawing for a trip to VMworld Barcelona.

Worthless prizes aside, lets look at the tasks needed to earn your Cred. Tasks are organized by the different skills that might be required. Blogger, Lab, Fun, Event, and Tech are all examples of skills. Being technical, I decided to drill down into one of the technical areas, Tech VM. This gave me a list of of tasks to complete, and the number of Cred points I would earn for each task.

Now this is where it heads south. The very first task I am presented to complete is Task 320: Review ” Best Practices for Virtualizing IBM DB2 with Technologies from VMware, Intel, and NetApp”. Huh? Really? Because DB2 is obviously a required Cloud Skill as we head into this new paradigm shift of Cloud Computing. Not to be discouraged, I click through and start the task. The task gives me a link to a VMware technical paper, and asks me to write a paragraph on what I learned. I click through to the technical paper, and then immediately return to the Cloud Cred site without reading the paper. I enter a smart ass sentence on what I learned (“never deploy DB2 in the Cloud”), and then clicked “complete task”.

After “reviewing” a few more technical tasks such as “Using a Nexus 1000v in a DMZ” and “Using 10GB Ethernet with VMware”, I once again immediately wrote a paragraph (actually copied and pasted from the technical paper summary) and “completed the task”. In a minute, I had earned 500 pts, and my free pen (score!).

Other ways to earn Cloud Cred include:

At this point, you can see where this is heading, and it’s got very little to do with how much you understand Cloud Computing. I’ve got 4 computers in my basement, a crappy NAS, and 2 GigaBit switches running both CloudStack, KVM, and VMware ESX. But just because I can take a picture of it doesn’t mean I know fuck-all about Cloud Computing. My Sales Rep can bring in food to a Cloud Computing User Group; so he has Cloud Cred now? And this of course says nothing about the fact that you can complete a task in seconds, there by gaming the system and earning false Cred (well even falser Cred than it already is).

And how about the technical topics of Cred? If your Cloud Strategy involves running DB2 on VMware, then I feel for your organization. And while 10 GB ethernet is really something you will want backing your physical servers running your Cloud, the topic itself has nothing to do with Cloud. Cloud, or no Cloud, someone in your org will need to know how to run a 10 GB ethernet network. Cloud purists will argue that you care about none of that, because Amazon, Rackspace, HP or Cloud Provider du Jour will be taking care of all of those details.

In the end, Cloud Cred seems to be about giving VMware Cloud Marketing Cred, not you. Or, some might even say VMware is earning Cloud Washing Cred, maybe even surpassing the legendary Larry Ellison. What is probably the most interesting thing is how many people will fall for this utter bullshit. Why? Because it highlights something I readily tell anyone who will listen: the majority of enterprises have no clue about the real paradigm shift that cloud computing provides and what it requires of an organization.

TL;DR: Cloud Cred is more worthless than Klout, believe it or not.

Update: I earned another 100 Cred points by posting this blog to Cloud Cred in order to complete a task.

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Posted in: Michael's