My wife, once again, has been proved right (don’t tell her). I survived more than a week offline, on the side of a mountain on Crete. My business did not implode, the Internet is still there, and I’m refreshed. As I wade through backlog, the RSS feeds are dominated by Steve Jobs’ resignation and the build-up to, experience during, and aftermath of Hurricane Irene. In Cloud-land, the big gatherings of Dreamforce and VMworld are generating an awful lot of noise that will doubtless deserve closer examination. But, from my refreshed and retrospective viewpoint, the stories that speak loudest appear to have generated hardly a ripple. Dun & Bradstreet is partnering with Salesforce on data.com, with “the vision to unify the best sources of business data.” Further back, Eucalyptus unveiled version 3.0 of their private cloud solution. Cade Metz writes in The Register that the company has “pumped new life” into a sound technical solution whose future I recently questioned. CEO Marten Mickos responded to me robustly at the time, and maybe 3.0 will prove him correct. And finally, Verizon bought CloudSwitch to beef up their capabilities in delivering hybrid clouds. Three disconnected snippets from a veritable flood of news. Three separate proof-points adding to an already complex picture. Three pieces that speak to the quietly growing relevance of all this stuff to the traditional enterprise; and the need to package the cloud’s capabilities in forms more digestible to that type of buyer. None of these stories are as whizzy as the headline pronouncements from Las Vegas and San Francisco, none dominate news cycles like Jobs apparently did in my absence. But they’re important all the same, and they are the sorts of stories upon which lasting businesses depend.