There's all kinds of research being done on cloud computing: Who's looking at it, who's using it, who's skeptical, who thinks it's just a fad, etc.
Then there is analysis by influential individuals, such as Oracle CEO/founder Larry Ellison [whose BMW Oracle boat defeated the Swiss to win the America's Cup last weekend, by the way].
"I don't understand all the hype about this so-called cloud computing," Ellison has said on more than a few occasions. "It's just a new term for computers connected to the Internet, is it not? If that's the case, Oracle's been doing cloud computing for 15 years. What's the big deal?"
Nonetheless, cloud computing indeed is a bit more than Ellison's narrow definition, it's safe to say. Just look around: An entirely new IT industry is being built on the idea of renting on-demand computing power from somewhere unknown and probably very far away.
In any case, cloud software maker OpSource on Feb. 16 released the results of its first bi-annual customer survey, and there are some interesting infopoints [is that a new word?] to share:
--Reliability and accountability are two top cloud-related purchase criteria, with a 100% uptime SLA cited by 74 percent of OpSource respondents as being "extremely important" to their purchase decision.
--Sixty-three percent of respondents identified 24x7 live support as extremely important with user configurable servers; API access and fast provisioning were also cited as important or very important.
--100 percent SLAs, enterprise-class security and 24X7 support are emerging as key differentiators in new-generation cloud services.
--Name brands, as they do in most industries, wield strength in cloud computing: Industry-standard technologies from companies such as VMware, Cisco, Red Hat, Dell and Microsoft are "extremely important" to nearly half [44 percent] of respondents.
OpSource Cloud, currently in public beta, is available for online purchase by the hour at this site.