SD Times | January 19, 2011

Industry Watch: Firming Up The Cloud

As usual, the hype has gotten way ahead of the reality. This time, I’m talking about cloud computing.

Those “pure play” companies with a vested interest in the success of the cloud will point to what they call the growing number of large enterprises that either are experimenting with cloud computing, or have already moved a pilot project here or there onto the cloud. And certainly, more software, platform and infrastructure suppliers are moving their offerings into a cloud-ready, subscription-based solution that they believe will be poised to reap the benefits of this shifting development and deployment model.

Yet there are still the same problems that stifled the adoption of the Application Service Provider model a decade ago: security, dependencies and control. On top of that, add multi-tenancy, scalability, management, governance and provisioning of customers, and you can see why the earliest cloud movers are investing in private clouds. (This, to me, seems a misnomer anyway. It should be called “efficient computing,” as most definitions I’ve heard of private clouds talk about optimizing utilization of servers to reduce both their number and the costs of IT—which you still own and pay for, by the way.)

In fact, Sinclair Schuller, CEO of SaaSGrid maker Apprenda, sees the cloud bubble starting to deflate in 2011. “The level of education around the cloud has increased so much in the past 12 months that cloud vendors will be called out for what they do and do not provide,” he said. “The hype cycle is broken, and we’ll see a backing off of throwing the term ‘cloud’ around.”