Forecast: Scattered Clouds, With Increasing Atmospheric Integration

Posted on May 3, 2008
Filed Under Clouds, Future, Musings | Leave a Comment

Get your head into the clouds.  Now. 

There is increasing buzz this month about online clouds – the services that host our applications, contain our data, and can scale on demand.  Those who recall grid computing or mesh computing or distributed computing will understand the concept behind clouds: computing services as a utility, like electricity or water. 

What is the forecast for clouds?  Growth.  With recent articles on large technology companies getting together on cloud computing, it will no doubt ride the hype curve very rapidly (even amid some tech voices of sanity).

As in a previous post here which included highlights of the advance from yesterday’s best computers to today’s desktop computers, the lower prices now, combined with the scale of global computing data center resources & virtualization, means that computing actually can be a utility. 

In concept, it follows the pattern of the internet – shared resources along with proprietary/private resources, with costs driven lower by higher adoption rates.  Shared costs of email relay and internet traffic routed across servers allowed free email to mostly replace paid email.  But this time, shared computing via a cloud really will change the, um, landscape. 

Why?  Developers.

Many tech-savvy people, based on blog comment posts this week, don’t get the cloud.  They will, one day soon, but it will take an understanding of how development in the cloud can be done more cheaply, with more scalability, distributed globally.  A year from now there will dozens of startups that succeeded in 2008 and early 2009 by leveraging the cloud, combined in many cases with social networks, mashup-ready data, and a keen sense of how to solve problems that are still forming in online user expectations.

As in a previous post here highlighting the big changes of old computers to today’s computers, the lower prices now combined with the scale of global computing data center resources means that computing actually can be a utility. 

 Hong Kong Skyline and Clouds

Clouds arrive in Hong Kong.

[ Buzzword prediction: clouds will be superceded in buzz-worthiness by what they float in: the atmosphere ]


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