Over the last couple of years there is lot of buzz surrounding cloud computing. Every day there are mushrooms of startups built around this new computing platform and business model. And there is lot of VC investment happening around these companies. I am hoping we are not again in the same clouds of early 2000 when all VCs put lot of ambitions and aspirations and all the internet startups were overvalued and finally the bubble got collapsed. I am not sure whether this cloud syndrome is a real phenomenon. There are authors equated this cloud era data centers to electricity grids. This might be true but, I agree with others who say all the computing model exists and cloud computing will be one of the computing models in computing eco system. No doubt we are progressing towards much more deep collaborative environment. The latest raise in social networks and gaining importance in online collaborative tools and sites is true witness of these patterns. In all these the internet becomes main stream computing platform.
Will all the applications move to cloud? May be the answer is NO.
Every application written in the universe is very different in terms of its requirement and usage. There was a time when desktop PCs gaining a lot of power, everyone thought there is an end to main frame era and powerful desktops will replace the main frame computers. The power of computing will be decentralized. The fact that today mainframes are still ruling. Today’s majority of mission critical application are still running in mainframe and the interesting phenomenon is we are going back to the centralized computing model like main frame.
The cloud provides one of the strong business model, which justifies a perfect ROI and hence there is lot of buzz around this and this platform is new and immature. There are very few companies who mastered this art. However there is lot of proof has been made on the ground in terms of the business values this new platform provides. One of the earliest company to ripe the benefits of this platform is salesforce.com. Currently, there are lots of big software giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Rack Space, IBM, SUN having their own definition of Cloud and each one provides their own infrastructure and utilities around their technologies. This is bound to happen and things will consolidate in form of standards in future as the technology matures. Though the cloud computing is gaining momentum rapidly, still there are lot of concerns in the minds of corporate. The most important concern is security and critical data governance. The current infrastructure and utilities are provided to the end user more like vendor lock in. In case the user wants to switch between other cloud providers what are the options. We really do not know yet and hence this is pretty clear that the data and processes which are not critical to an enterprise can be deployed on an on demand cloud to gain the much wanted business value where as the critical data and processes could be managed in house. This will result in having hybrid models with different computing strategies for different kinds of requirements with in an enterprise.