Google's Cloud Utopia Doesn't Mesh With Enterprise

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-05-09 Print this article Print

=Proprietary technology, lack of standards hamper cloud}

One of the reasons for why enterprise customers are slow to migrate to the cloud is because APEX PAAS (platform as a service) and other SAAS (software-as-a-service) providers keep customers tethered to their own technology.

" APEX is locked, NetSuite and other guys are all trying to lock you into their silos, which defeats the whole purpose of SOA [service-oriented architecture], when you keep adding more silos without mechanisms to get the data in or out," Rosenberg said.

Proprietary technology is not the only culprit. Even though Google's App Engine leverages the open-source Python language, Rosenberg said programs written on the App Engine can only be written in Python. Google has assured that more language support is forthcoming.

These limits keep vendors and customers from truly cloud-based computing, where Web software is interoperable with other languages and platforms. What is needed, he said, is a common open programming language for the cloud. Something like's APEX, but for infrastructure, allowing Java virtual machines to run in the cloud, he said.

Rosenberg kicked the responsibility back to IBM, Sun or Hewlett-Packard, which he said must build out the massive datacenters to put a stake in the ground for the future of cloud infrastructure in the enterprise.

If those Big 3 vendors can get the cloud infrastructure ball rolling, it could open the door to smaller vendors, such as MuleSource, which is poised to ply its trade in data integration.

Rosenberg's rant is a more sobering view at a time when the industry continues to be enamored of and lulled into Google's dream world of cloud ubiquity, as Girouard wrote:

"The real, long-term change is just beginning to be felt, and anyone thinking about our economic future should consider this: Access to information is a democratizing force, and the cloud makes it inexpensive and easy to collaborate and share information."

This may be so in Google's very focused cloud collaboration effort, where customers use word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications  under the protection of Google's Postini apps.

But for the greater enterprise infrastructure backbone-the nuts and bolts of systemic computing-there is clearly still a gulf between the hype and the reality.


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