The Battle for the Cloud

I was reading this article on eWeek Kafi sent today, where a writer gave his opinion on several predictions by Appirio mainly based around cloud computing. The article is interesting and I recommend briefly going over it, but here I’m going to focus on a couple of the points I found pretty interesting:

The first point, regarding integrations between clouds is a really good point as this is how you can add value to your cloud without having to create new functionality yourself. As everyone has seen with the popularity of Facebook and third party apps, the only way to expand in Web 2.0 is to let your users provide content, and developers are the users of clouds. Google App Engine and Amazon have opened up access to other clouds as well, and I’m sure Microsoft’s Azure will provide similar functionality to its users. In fact, I think Microsoft will really put a lot of its resources in getting the cloud strategy correct and providing a straightforward path for current Visual Studio developers.

The next interesting point is about the rise of server-less medium to large enterprises, and I absolutely believe this is the logical result of going down the cloud computing path. With companies like Terremark that can host your IT infrastructure on their cloud, saving you CapEx, space, and energy, there really is a compelling reason to not have servers in the enterprise except for really specialized appliance-type servers like firewalls, VPNs, proxies and so on.

I also wanted to mention the point about private clouds, I do think as the technology becomes more mature that term will make about as much sense as private electric grids, you really don’t need them unless you’re doing some pretty crazy things.

Next, the point is made that BI (business intelligence) will be the next big push for SaaS-plays. While I do agree that their is certainly a lot of activity going on there from companies like Oracle as well as Salesforce, I think that other areas of the enterprise like ESBs, finance, and healthcare will experience just as much conversion to the cloud.

Finally I think you’ll find that the IT department in the enterprise and software development shops will often be the first to switch over their infrastructure to the cloud, and we’re experiencing that ourselves at Ayoka as most of our servers and applications are in the cloud already. What have your experiences been regarding or issues surrounding moving apps and infrastructure to the cloud?