The Shape of Cloud Computing To Come
Some leading infrastructure experts, IT industry executives and technology commentators offer me their views
By: Jeremy Geelan
Jan. 26, 2009 08:41 AM
As new offerings like Amazon's CloudFront, Microsoft's Azure, Hosting.com's CloudNine and VMware's vCloud are rolled out week in, week out, the worldwide cloud computing momentum continues to grow. Amid all the change, I asked some leading infrastructure experts, IT industry executives and technology commentators for their views on The Shape of Cloud Computing To Come.
Peter Coffee was Technology Editor for industry journals PC Week and eWEEK from 1989 through 2007, after spending the prior decade in project management at Exxon and in PC planning and AI applications research at The Aerospace Corporation. He is the author of "How to Program Java" and "Peter Coffee Teaches PCs"; he served as a member of the X3J13 standards committee for ANSI Common Lisp.
1. Developer communities and system integrators will defect, in growing numbers, from established enterprise software vendors that have failed to deliver real innovation and value during the past several years.
2. Lower costs of market entry / application deployment, faster payback on development costs, and superior return on investment will make cloud-based platforms the target of choice for both entrepreneurial and enterprise developers.
3. Improved understanding of process and governance risk will shift the preferences of IT owners and regulators away from the cost and inconsistency of on-premise IT, and toward the auditable and highly professional security practices of cloud-service providers.
4. Mainstream consumers will become more aggressive in lowering their cost of both personal and business computing, and will become far more accepting of lightweight client machines running free and open-source operating systems and applications -- including application-oriented Internet clients like Google's Chrome.
5. The generation raised on broadband connections, Google search and Facebook community membership will not fear to rely on Web-delivered applications and resources for both work and leisure.
6. Companies will redefine the "C" in "CRM" to mean "Community" rather than "Customer": they will build systems that engage their partners and customers in cooperative processes of product and service improvement, rather than building only inward-looking systems for in-house analysis of the world outside the company's wall.
7. Developers outside the U.S. and Europe -- specifically those in India, China and Brazil -- will find their most rapidly growing opportunities in their own home markets, and will shift their focus toward building high-value applications for compatriot companies rather than providing low-cost labor to mature markets overseas.
8. Software market cycles will rapidly accelerate to Web speed, with multiple releases per year, rather than the glacial pace of multi-year upgrade cycles that currently results in most IT sites running legacy versions of cumbersome bloatware.
9. Global growth in development demand will increase the importance of high-leverage application frameworks that enable more rapid development of higher-quality products.
10. Too many development teams will minimize short-term pain, rather than maximizing gain, and will find themselves made irrelevant by teams that kept pace with new opportunities.
Geva Perry is General Manager of Cloud Computing at GigaSpaces, responsible for all marketing and business development activities at GigaSpaces, including strategy and positioning, product marketing, analyst/media relations and strategic alliances. Prior to joining GigaSpaces, he was COO at SeeRun, a developer of real-time business activity monitoring software. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School.
1. Trend of Large Vendors Entering Cloud Computing Will Accelerate
2. All Major IDEs Will Offer Cloud Deployment Options
3. Platform-as-a-Service Will Take Its First Steps into the Mainstream
4. A Next-Generation of “Middleware for the Cloud” Will Rise in Dominance Over Traditional J2EE Application Servers
Both start-ups and enterprises will come to realize in 2009 that the middleware products they have been using in dedicated physical server environments just don’t cut in the clouds. The promise of the cloud’s utility model (pay-per-use) cannot be taken advantage of without application platform that enable the application to both grow and shrink based on Service-Level Agreements (SLAs). Therefore, a new generation of application servers, such as GigaSpaces XAP and Appistry, will grow in popularity among the mainstream of cloud users.
5. System Administration & Configuration and Network Management Will Become a Sexy Field Bursting with Innovation
After years of stagnation, system administration, configuration and network management will thrive with innovation. New standards will emerge and people will come up with new forms of innovation in the field. Open source projects such as Puppet will experience incredible momentum. In a sense, for cloud computing to succeed, system administration needs to be eliminated. Or more accurately, automated and simplified, which creates tremendous potential.
Markus Klems is a research assistant at Germany-based FZI Research Center for Information Technology. His main areas of interests are cloud computing, grids, distributed programming and agile Web development - the technological point of view as well as business models.
1. More SaaS
Cloud Computing will certainly fuel the SaaS business. More and more Desktop applications will turn into Services or at least hybrid online/offline apps that live in the Cloud. Developers can rely on Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service, and concentrate on building more sophisticated and powerful network-centric applications.
2. Middleware in the Cloud
Alan Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Cloud Computing Journal and is SYS-CON's "Cloud Computing Bootcamp" Instructor. A Sun Java Champion he is the creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Williamson likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW.
1. In terms of cloud infrastructure, 2009 will be the year when hosting your application in the likes Amazon EC2, AppNexnus, Flexiscale, GoGrid etc, will move out of the "early adopter" phase and into the main stream. Architects will demand more accountability and stability.
2. Traditional hosting companies will feel the pinch, as the cloud providers will drive their prices further down to counter act the harsh reality that cloud-hosting at the moment, for 24hr operations, works out more expensive.
3. 2009 will not bring any unified standard or interfaces, but the community will have woken up for the need for this and efforts will really begin to shine through.
Serguei Beloussov is Chairman and CEO at Parallels, a global leader in virtualization and automation software for consumers, businesses and service providers. He's a successful self-made entrepreneur and business executive with an outstanding 15-year track record in building, growing and leading high-performing, multi-national high tech companies in North America, Europe and Asia.
1. The vendor landscape will dramatically change as we see a significant increase in the opportunities available to providers of cloud-based services. This will impact all types of service providers: web and managed hosters; telcos and ISPs; independent software vendors offering their software as a service; online services companies; traditional systems integrators; value-added resellers that are becoming managed service providers, and cost-plus service providers. A full range of offerings must be available. These will largely run on Linux as it is much more prevalent in this space.
2. For the cloud model to be profitable, efficiency is key, so service providers need to automate as much of the full lifecycle as possible. Customers should be able to place orders and get fulfilment and basic support without human intervention, and all billing and usage accounting needs to be completed automatically. Delegating authority to the customer also plays a significant role in making this model work – the customer should be able to perform simple administrator tasks such as resetting passwords and ordering more disk space without needing costly support calls or input from service provider staff.
Reuven Cohen is is a thought leader in the emerging cloud computing industry. He's Founder & Chief Technologist for Toronto based Enomaly Inc. - leading developer of Cloud Computing products and solutions focused on enterprise businesses. Enomaly's products include the Enomalism elastic computing platform, an open source cloud platform that enables a scalable enterprise IT and local cloud infrastructure platform and its customers including Intel, Best Buy, France Telecom/Orange as well as many smaller organizations.
1. Cloud computing in 2009 will be all about the user experience. AKA Quality of a user experience as the basis for scaling & managing your infrastructure. The problem is this, a cloud vendor/provider may be living up to the terms of a contract's language, thus rating high in QoS (Quality of service), but, the actual users may be very unhappy because of a poor user experience, thus causing a low QoE.
2. In 2009 for the first time the cloud will enable us to not only scale based on superfical aspects such as load, but based on practical ones like: how fast does my application load for users in the UK?
Ben Rushlo is one of the world's leading Internet performance experts. He advises Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in the Retail, Automotive, and Financial Services industries, helping to transform their global sites into high- performing, highly available Web assets that provide excellent customer experiences every time. Before joining Keynote, he was a Senior Performance and Capacity Planning Engineer at American Express, where he served as a core member of the team that launched American Express on the Web.
1. The concept of a site as we know it will change
Seattle-based open source entrepreneur Krishnan Subramanian is an ex-physicist turned blogger with a deep philosophical connection to open source, open standards, open communications, etc. "Being an ex-physicist helps me use scientific approach towards life," Krish notes.
2. On the SaaS side, we will see apps will mature adding more reliability for such services. We will see a stronger support towards Health 2.0 with Microsoft and Google leading the way. Any attempt by Obama administration to revamp healthcare will include a Health 2.0 strategy. Data Portability is going to be the most vocal demand from the consumers as they realize the risks associated with the data being locked into third party servers.
3. PaaS will see a surge with Google offering support to more scripting languages. We will also see an increasing push for .NET platform on the clouds by Microsoft. Developers are going to benefit the most from such a surge and it will also have a stronger impact on the SaaS side.
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