Not every type of application is ideally suited for cloud computing. Take, for example, transaction processing, where latency issues would make cloud computing currently unacceptable for most of these types of applications.
But in the land of IT, nothing stays static forever. The odds are good that some time in the next year a lot of the latency issues associated with running transaction processing applications in the cloud might be solved if companies such as IBM, Precise Software, CA, Hitachi and Unisys have anything to say about it.
The folks at Precise say the biggest challenges associated with running a transaction processing system in the cloud come from the distributed nature of such an architecture, the additional layers of software that virtualization adds to the equation and the ability to automatically discover, manage and govern any new instance of a transaction.
The end result is a lot of potential bottlenecks in a distributed computing system that makes it difficult to scale transaction processing applications in the same way IT organizations expect to scale them on a mainframe.
But solving these issues may come down to time and effort. Precise is working on solving the transaction management issues in the cloud, and companies such as VMware, IBM, Citrix and Microsoft are working with processor vendors on the latency issues associated with virtual machines.
So what that means is that it's only a matter of time before we start seeing transaction processing systems in the cloud as well. They may not be as fast as a mainframe, but transaction processing systems in the cloud would make it much more affordable for a lot more companies to build these types of systems.