Parsing the Cloud to See the Right Patterns

By Keith Jahn  |  Posted 2010-03-29 Print this article Print

Parsing the cloud to see the right patterns

News flash: the cloud isn't new. It's been around for years now, starting with what many now refer to as the "Internet era." Remember when IT people used to talk about what was being hosted "in the cloud"? This was the first generation/version of cloud. Cloud 1.0 was an enabler that originated in the enterprise. Commercial use of the Internet as a trusted platform revolutionized supply chain management (SCM) processes and eventually became mainstream-fundamentally changing the IT architectural landscape.

As this model evolved, it gave birth to thousands of consumer-class services. These services-using next-generation Internet technologies on the front end and massive scale architectures on the back end-delivered low-cost, good enough services to economic buyers. This ushered in a more advanced generation or version of cloud: Cloud 2.0.

Cloud 2.0 and beyond

The current generation of cloud is driven by the consumer experiences that blossomed from Cloud 1.0 living rooms. Internet-based shopping, search and countless other services have brought about a new economic model and introduced new technologies. Services can be self-sourced-from anywhere and from virtually any device-and delivered immediately. Infrastructure and applications can be sourced as services in an on-demand manner.

Most of the attention around cloud services today is focused on the new techniques and sourcing alternatives for IT capabilities: IT as a Service. Using standardized, highly virtualized infrastructure and applications, IT can drive higher degrees of automation and consolidation, thus reducing the cost of maintaining existing solutions and delivering new ones.

While many companies are wrestling with the technology transitions required to move from cloud 1.0 and 2.0, the volume of services in the commercial cloud marketplace is increasing, propagation of data into the cloud is occurring, and Web 3.0/semantic Web technology is maturing. And, because of this, we are starting to see the next generation of cloud materialize: Cloud 3.0.

Cloud 3.0 will enable access to information through services set in the context of the consumer experience. This is significantly different; it means that processes can be broken into smaller pieces and automated through a collection of services, woven together with access to massive amounts of data. It eliminates the need for large-scale, complex applications that are built around monolithic processes. Changes can be accomplished by refactoring service models, and integration achieved by subscribing to new data feeds. This will create new connections, new capabilities and new innovations surpassing those of today.

Keith Jahn is a Director in the office of the CTO for HP Software and Solutions. During his career as an IT practitioner, architect and strategist, Keith has successfully designed and implemented technology, automation, and service management strategies. He has also led several large-scale transformation initiatives. Keith has a passion for IT-led business effectiveness and has held leadership roles in IT and commercial outsourcing at several Fortune 500 corporations. He can be reached at

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