The Cloud in 2010 and Beyond

Arthur Cole

This is the time when the trade press is awash with reviews of the past year and predictions for the next.

This year, it's almost impossible to miss the prognostications for cloud computing, with notable commentary ranging from "it's just a fad" to "it's a paradigm-shifting development."

But some of the more useful analyses are the ones that focus on what the cloud can and should do for the enterprise in the coming year, rather than what the cloud is or isn't.

That's why I like Phil Wainwright's most recent piece on ZDNet, in which he correctly points out that the cloud is not merely the latest tool to be deployed and exploited in the data center. Rather, it will be an ongoing process in 2010 and beyond that will finally rid the enterprise of the stagnant architectures and all their mind-numbing complexity. However, I do take issue with his contention that private clouds are a fool's game akin to enterprises trying to create their own internal Internet. The private cloud offers a number of advantages over current architectures, even if it doesn't represent the end-game of cloud technology.

Come to think of it, there's a very good chance that most of the cloud developments in the coming year will not be technological at all. The key supporting technology, virtualization, is rapidly approaching maturity, and all the top virtualization vendors have all introduced their cloud platforms for the coming year. So aside from the standard upgrades and enhancements, most of the action will be on pricing, performance matrices, interoperability and other competitive factors, according to PCworld's Patrick Thibodeau.

In that regard, one of the things we're likely to see is an industry shake-out, says News.com's Matt Asay. Many of the early cloud providers are running largely on venture capital handed out before the recession, meaning that many will find themselves in the hole unless they either get more backing or find a way to beat the already aggressive revenue stream projections being bandied about by industry analysts.

And that could be a tall order considering the customer base is still a little fuzzy on what the whole cloud computing concept means to them. Computerworld's latest survey of more than 300 IT executives revealed that only half had any plans to roll out cloud capabilities next year, with many fingering it as the most over-hyped technology of 2009. Perhaps that will change once the focus of cloud development shifts from infrastructure to the application layer, as software firm Alfresco's Asay predicts, since that will finally make it plain that the cloud is not just an abstract rearrangement of infrastructure but a tangible asset that can improve performance and lower costs.

So where does that leave us? Clearly, the IT industry is on the verge of some major changes. Whether it helps to lump all of the forces at play under the label of "cloud computing" or to view it as extension of virtualization, SaaS or whatever is really a matter of perception rather than a cold, hard reality.

All the cloud-building tools are ready for action. What you decide to do with them is entirely up to you.

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Jan 18, 2010 7:51 PM Von'Victor Rosenchild Von'Victor Rosenchild  says:

Hello, my name is Von'Victor Valentino Rosenchild; I am the Founder & CEO of ProsumerSoft a Cloud Computing Consulting Company located in New York City. As a one of the first minority owned Cloud Computing Consulting Companies in New York City we are very honored to give some feedback on the subject at hand.

I have been in the IT industry for over 18 years, having worked in the Public and Private sector, I have seen dramatic changes in both. While working with U.S. Gov. Agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), among other U.S. Gov Agencies, in addition to Siemens, BP, and other multi-international businesses in both a B2B capacity and an IT support capacity, I have seen fads come and go. But I have also seen what some took as a fad, become a vital part of the way business entities communicate and collaborate, moreover, that same technology and or methodology change the very nature of the way CTO's CIO's, VP's of IT, etc.., go about their daily business and planning, we all hope not only tactically, but thinking and planning strategically.

Cloud Computing offers not only big businesses and governments a way to reduce their annual IT expenditures and cut their drain of resources such as oil, gas, electricity, water, and all the other ingredients that it takes to maintain a data center and or server room, Cloud Computing also offers great benefits to start-ups, small & mid-size businesses, allowing them to cut the initial cost of investment in their IT support backbone (the servers, possibly excess software, 'server side and desktop side'), which will allow them to focus that capital in areas that need to be enhanced and or expanded, thus as a result they are able to weather the storm of their first two years of operation. As most people know, small businesses usually fail within the first two years of operation because of lack of funding, poor management, among other things. Cloud Computing offers solutions for the vast majority of reasons why startups, and small business fail. CRM in the Cloud through Salesforce.com (SaaS & PaaS), Google Apps (SaaS & PaaS), Amazon EC2, S3, etc.., (SaaS, PaaS, & IaaS), Microsoft Azure (SaaS & PaaS), just to name a few of the major players in the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) industry, remember there is IBM, and AT&T, etc.., also offering "Cloud Services".

The scalability and elasticity that Cloud Computing provides is indeed unparalleled, Cloud Computing offers cost effective solutions in an global economy hard hit by a recession caused by 'White Collar Crime', deregulation, and blatant disregard for such policies, guidelines, and regulations as, Sarbanes Oxley Section 404 IT Compliance, GLBA, Cobit, HIPPA, ISO 17799, among many others. As long as CTOs, CIOs, VPs of IT, etc.., ensure that strict security protocols and business processes are adhered to then Cloud Computing will be the keystone to the vast majority of businesses success.

As one of the first African American Cloud Computing Consulting Companies in New York City, and as a professional that has worked in IT for 18+ years, I believe that cloud computing is the future and the future is "now". Cloud Computing is enabling the IT industry as a whole to look at more innovative ways to bring about Web 3.0 and lead to the next critical change in the web: Web 4.0.


Von'Victor Valentino Rosenchild

Founder & CEO




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