The Race to Create Critical Applications in the Cloud

Michael Vizard
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Deploying Applications in the Cloud

While there's more talk than actual use of cloud computing in the enterprise, a Zeus Technology survey looks at the beginnings of a major shift under way. Clear expectations and planning can improve your experience and near-term success.

One of the unfulfilled promises of cloud computing is tied to the notion of application discovery and software distribution. A lot of the potential value of cloud computing comes from the simple fact that it makes it easier to provision applications. Given that fact, it should also make it easier to expose more end users to new applications.

With that thought in mind Amazon has signed an alliance with Runaware, a provider of software that makes it simpler to configure software demonstrations in the cloud. The basic idea, says Runaware CEO Tim Keyes, is to make it a whole lot easier for IT organizations to not only discover software, but also to get a feel for how it works without having to commit resources to setting up a proof of concept.

Of course, it's in Amazon's interest to get people to use as many applications in the cloud as possible. Amazon is in a race with other cloud computing providers to create the largest applications portfolio possible under the theory that whoever has the most applications in the cloud will ultimately win. Similarly, application vendors are anxious to take advantage of Amazon as a vehicle through which they can market and distribute their applications cost effectively.

Right now, the use of cloud computing services such as Amazon's is limited to a fairly finite class of applications. But as more IT organizations make use of Amazon and other cloud computing services, an ecosystem of applications will start to emerge on each platform. The alliance between Amazon and Runaware is really just the latest salvo in the race to reach enough critical mass in terms of building those ecosystems before anybody else.

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