Another cloudy week …

It’s a sunny day in Silicon Valley, and still we can’t help thinking about clouds. Maybe it’s because in recent days, some big tech companies have been talking up their efforts in the business of cloud computing.

Cloud computing, in which software and services are accessed from a remote data center “cloud,” has been the focus of much industry hype. But all that talk has left many businesses uncertain about how to use the technology, as IDC analyst Frank Gens said in a recent statement. Both IBM and Hewlett-Packard clearly see this as an opportunity.

HP, which already sells hardware and software for data centers, rolled out a new package of consulting services earlier this week, including workshops and “road maps” of recommendations on design, testing and security for businesses considering the use of cloud-based services or building their own clouds for internal use.

IBM, meanwhile, announced its own portfolio of new cloud products and services just last week — including software and services that customers can access from IBM’s data centers, services based on internal clouds that IBM can build and run for its clients, and systems of hardware and software designed to work together.

Even Larry Ellison got into the discussion during Oracle’s quarterly earnings call this week, as he told analysts that Oracle is preparing to make more of its business software available on a subscription basis, to compete with companies like Salesforce.com. Ellison said Oracle will host the software on its own data centers or install it on a client’s data center, with Oracle operating it as a service.

One analyst said that sounded like Ellison was talking about cloud computing, which the Oracle CEO has famously derided in the past. Ellison did not disagree.

And if that’s not enough cloud news, some top execs from HP, Amazon, Sun and other companies were trading ideas at the GigaOM Network’s Structure 09 conference in San Francisco this week. The Register had an interesting account .

 

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