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More and more people are realizing that Cloud Computing may be a hype, but for sure it is not an invention.  The components that make up or enable the cloud are not new. We have had fairly broad networks for 10 years, have used virtualization for 20 years and were sharing of computing capacity (time sharing) even before I started my working life. As CA’s Ajei Gopal recently said, Cloud Computing is much more a “practical innovation”.   Practical innovation combines existing technology into a compelling new product. Best example of a “practical Innovation” is probably the iPod that combined existing and readily available technology like a portable hard disk, a compact headset and MP3 compression in a new type of walkman. The thing with “practical Innovations” is that it is not about having the best idea; it is not even about having the idea first. It is all about FLA... (more)

Can the Real Cloud Market Size Please Stand Up?

It seems like every week another sizing of the cloud market is published, and – maybe as to be expected - none of them seem to agree. Let’s have a look at who is saying what, and whether we are comparing apples to apples, or apples and oranges. We will start by looking at SaaS. The most recent numbers from IDC claim that SaaS revenue will grow 5 times faster than traditional packaged software. This would mean little if traditional packaged software is expected to no longer grow (five times zero would still be zero). Joe McKendrick at ZDNet took IDC’s numbers and extrapolated from them that “very soon, a third of all software will be delivered via cloud.” This seems to directly contradict Gartner numbers from just a month earlier. In June Gartner released a report stating that “Software as a service (SaaS) will have a role in the future of IT, but not the dominant future... (more)

End of Outsourcing, Death of the Web, Self Managing Clouds? Not So Fast, Just Yet

Sure, it may all happen, but expect a similar timeframe as for the paperless office Predicting the future is a lot more fun than analyzing the past, but as Mel Brooks might say “A funny thing happened on the way to the future; it changed from what we expected.” And there have been plenty of predictions recently. For starters, Wired Magazine announced  the death of the (browser based) web, predicting it will be replaced by dedicated locally installed desktop or mobile applications – those things we now call “Apps.” As you can imagine, this article prompted a large response by bloggers – and emotions were nearing outrage in some cases. Most of the reaction came from people who simply love their browsers, but one can imagine that many SaaS vendors also had a rough night. Being able to run multiple SaaS applications next to each other, while still offering a rather consis... (more)

Clouds in a Country Where It Never Rains

Last week Jim Murphy of Gartner and I opened up the Cloud ConfEx, an executive conference that ran as a part of the GITEX tradeshow in Dubai. Personally, I had not been in the region for the good part of 10 years, so I was very interested to see how it had developed since. Last time I was in Dubai the Burj al Arab was there and so were some of the other landmark buildings. But the artificial islands called The Palm and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, did not even exist as an idea back then. I went to Dubai with questions about how high the interest in cloud computing would be and what it’s potential might be in an emerging region and growing economy like the United Arab Emirates. The initial feedback from the market research we are completing on cloud computing in emerging markets (to be published in a few weeks) shows some reluctance and appreh... (more)

The Private Cloud Debate Is Building Up Steam, But Is It Worth Having?

Slowly but steadily the debate in the blogosphere about private clouds is increasing. Now it is always good to see some debate, but is this a debate worth having? Will the cloud long term not be about other things than who owns a machine? Under provocative titles like “Private cloud discredited, part 1”  and “Do We Really Need Private Clouds?”  the private cloud debate is building up steam. The first blog is actually called “part 1” because the author is sure there will be a part two, given the raging emotions and all the opinions being aired. The second one is part of a very readable guest series by IT analyst avant la lettre Robin Bloor at Cloud Commons. Cloud Commons is a cloud consumer rating service community site, like consumersearch.com and epinions.com but for cloud products and services, that CA Technologies helped initiate. Now it is always good to see deba... (more)

Virtual Strategy - Virtually Right

With a private cloud strategy and dynamic data center you can quickly respond to rapid business fluctuations. But how do you get there? This post was originaly published as thanksgiving weekend special at virtual-strategy.com. In the article I discussed some approaches for building a dynamic data center that not only addresses complexity and reduces cost, but also accelerates business response time, to ensure that organization realizes the true promise of cloud computing, business agility and customer responsiveness. Cloud computing presents an appealing model for offering and managing IT services through shared and often virtualized infrastructure. It’s great for new business start-ups who don’t want the risk of a large on-premise technology investment, or organizations who can’t easily predict what the future demand will be for their services. But for most of us with... (more)

Is Your Cloud Strategy 3D-Ready?

While the TV and consumer industry is getting ready for its next wave of innovation called 3D, the IT industry has been going through a similar three dimensional transformation. Let’s have a closer look at this 3D journey of IT and how a good cloud strategy should support all three dimensions. And don’t worry, you won’t need to wear funny 3D glasses to read this blog. Cloud computing is not the first innovation to hit IT – although the amount of hype and blogs seem to indicate otherwise - ever since the first computer got carried into the building all the way to the latest generation of tablets, the way we use IT, the things we use IT for and IT itself has been changing profoundly. We can classify these changes along three dimensions: Extending IT’s reach to new users and into new functional areas, Abstracting problems so they can be managed at new conceptual levels a... (more)

Is Fabric Computing the Future of Cloud?

The term fabric computing is gaining rapid popularity, but currently mostly within the hardware community. In fact, according to a recent report, over 50% of attendees at the recent Datacenter Summit had implemented, or are in the process of implementing, fabric computing. Time to take a look at what fabric computing means for software and for (cloud) computing as a whole. Depending on which dictionary you choose, you can find anywhere between two and seven meanings for "fabric." Etymology-wise, it comes from the French fabrique and the Latin fabricare, and the Dutch Fabriek actually means factory. But in an IT context, fabric has little to do with our often used manufacturing or supply chain analogies; instead it actually relates much closer to fabric in its meaning of cloth, a material produced (fabricated) by weaving fibers. If we check our handy Wikipedia for fab... (more)

In Cloud Standards, It's All About Survival of the Fittest

The Kuppinger Cole European Identity Conference 2011 (EIC), which was held in Munich earlier this month, truly represented a ‘Who's Who' of cloud initiatives and standards.  Representatives from many influential, established and aspiring standards and industry bodies were on hand to showcase progress of the security initiatives currently in the works. The number of initiatives is overwhelming. For years the joke was that any time two Dutch meet, they are likely to start an association or co-operative initiative, but apparently that is also true for security and cloud experts. I won't bore you with all the clever acronyms (it's a true alphabet soup), but I do want to highlight the more interesting overall findings. In one of the first forum sessions - called "In Cloud We Trust" - Dr. Laurent Liscia of OASIS gave an interesting perspective on these competing standards. ... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011 - Part 1: Consumer Services Rule

In the past weeks we launched directly from the season of cloud events into what SYS-CON calls the Annual Predictions Bonanza. Gartner released its predictions on December 1 leading with "critical infrastructure will be disrupted by online sabotage."  At CIO magazine Bernard Golden gave two  interesting points of view, one for vendors and one for users, and even CA Technologies offered insights into the changes we expect in 2011, including how "security will shift from being perceived as a cloud inhibitor to becoming a cloud enabler." So, what happens after 2011?  In a few upcoming blogs I will highlight some "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen - in the decade about to start. (Now, you may argue that the decade started a year ago, but starting to count at zero is very "old school IT" and "old school IT" is definitely not what we are going t... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011-12: The Need for a Cloud Abstraction Model

If the cloud is to fulfill on its promise we need to start thinking of it as a cloud, not as an aggregation of its components (such as VMs etc.) As mentioned in a previous post I‘ll use some of my upcoming posts to highlight some cloud computing "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen – beyond 2011. One of these would be the creation of an “abstraction model” that can be used to think about (and eventually manage) the cloud.  A nice setup to this was done by Jen-Pierre Garbani of Forrester, who in a recent post at Computerworld UK talks about the need to Consider the Cloud as a solution not a problem.   In this is he uses the example of the T-ford -which was originally designed to use the exact same axle with as roman horse carriages, until someone come up with the idea of paving the roads - to argue that cu... (more)