Cloud Computing Is Here to Stay!
For some, this summer is shaping up to be the “Summer of Cloud Computing,” with every major technology vendor announcing products, or at least a strategy for the cloud. For others, this seems to be the “Summer of Cloud Computing Hype.” There’s been a fair amount of debate of late about which side of the fence cloud computing resides on. I don’t think there is even a question: Cloud computing is here to stay.
To me, the better question is whether or not we, as the entire IT ecosystem, can adapt quickly enough to serve the needs of the cloud. I believe we can. Take for example the recent announcement by VMware for its vSphere 4.1 software product that addresses one of the core issues with cloud computing–manageability. Or Microsoft‘s ( MSFT – news – people ) announcement of the Windows Azure Platform appliance, which is intended to enable IT to transform traditional infrastructure to a private cloud based on Microsoft’s familiar OS, application, management and tools technologies. And we can’t forget the cloud with the red lining, Red Hat ( RHT – news – people ) Cloud Foundations Edition One, which is an architecture that allows clients to construct cloud infrastructures based on open source software technologies.
At the core of what all of these solutions are doing is utilizing a trusted technology in the datacenter–virtualization–and leveraging it to get the most out of a cloud environment for customers. Virtualization as an enabling technology for the cloud is something we’ve been discussing for some time now. In fact, we specifically design server platforms with virtualization and cloud computing in mind.
As for the naysayers who think cloud computing is getting too much attention, I understand where they’re coming from. There are generally two points of view to this skepticism. Let’s address them one by one.
First, some would argue that cloud computing is merely a buzzword placed on a delivery model that has been around for years. I discussed this concept all the way back in February 2009. Whether or not cloud computing is revolutionary or evolutionary is not a concern to me. What’s important is that today’s data explosion (seen in this video) means that “the cloud” is more relevant than ever.
The second point of view is that customers aren’t willing to dive into cloud computing because it just isn’t mature enough yet. That is a valid point; cloud computing is maturing, but I’d agree that it’s not quite mainstream yet. But that’s exactly why the IT ecosystem needs to adapt, which is what I discussed earlier. Leading technology companies are producing technologies that can make cloud computing reliable, stable and manageable for customers large and small.