I just read a provocative piece about why cloud computing will vaporize. I think the oracle is out to lunch on this one.
First of all, we get an apples to oranges comparison to a technology that couldn’t deliver on its hype. Over priced and not solving any problem is certainly a recipe for failure, that’s for sure.
On the other hand, we find that cloud computing is pretty much delivering on everything promised. Energy saving (making it a critical component of any green data center plan) , cost saving, highly flexible, easy to deploy virtual servers on it, highly reliable (if done right), disaster recovery and avoidance, there’s a ton of benefits to cloud computing, all being proven in real action.
The next assertion is that you can’t build a sustainable business selling capacity unless you have a “distinct advantage”. I’m sure all the data center co-location, hosting, and dedicated server providers out there are surprised to know this. The infrastructure isn’t just going to appear magically and most of the people using it are NOT going to be building their own. I don’t believe the market for cloud capacity is just going to settle out on the 900lb gorillas of giant corporations, any more than the traditional data center market did. There’s certainly plenty of little guys making it out there.
In general, the largest cloud computing providers are the easiest to differentiate against. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, IBM, and others all have had repeated major self inflicted cloud outages in 2009 with major impact to their customers and just awful customer service response to them. The easiest differentiator is doing it well when the competition is screwing it up royally. It’s actually easy to remove the big boy’s differentiators, since I can easily build my own cloud with Amazon’s EC2/S3 (Eucalyptus) interface or Google’s App Engine (AppScale) interface.
As for there being a “zillion” cloud computing providers out there, I’ll believe it when I see proof of the number. Ones who do it well will survive, ones who do it poorly will not, just the way it’s always been. I don’t believe that only people who build the apps also will survive. I do believe you have to educate people how to apply cloud computing and that’s what I do with our cloud.
In light of the incredible demand, I’m not giving up on our cloud anytime soon. I think the original author needs something besides goat entrails before making his next prediction.