With 2008 being the year that cloud computing dominated the headlines in the IT arena, some pundits are saying that 2009 will be the year of the cloud for enterprises.
I’ll get back to that in a bit, but first I want to give credit to my former colleague Peter Coffee, who gave a multifaceted description of what it means to be in the cloud.
Coffee, who is now director of platform research at Salesforce.com, said, “I’m currently using a simple reference model for what a ‘cloud computing’ initiative should try to provide. I’m borrowing from the famous Zero-One-Infinity rule, canonically defined in The Jargon File…”
He continued, “It seems to me that a serious effort at delivering cloud benefits pursues the following ideals-perhaps never quite reaching them, but clearly having them as goals within theoretical possibility: Zero-On-premise[s] infrastructure, acquisition cost, adoption cost and support cost. One-Coherent software environment-not a ‘stack’ of multiple products from different providers. This avoids the chaos of uncoordinated release cycles or deferred upgrades. Infinity-Scalability in response to changing need, integratability/interoperability with legacy assets and other services, and customizability/programmability from data, through logic, up into the user interface without compromising robust multitenancy.”
Sam Charrington and the folks at cloud software provider Appistry offered up a list of five predictions for the cloud space for 2009, and I have to say I am in agreement with most of them. Charrington is Appistry’s vice president of product management and marketing.
The company’s first prediction is that “2009 will herald the ‘Year of the Cloud’ for enterprises.” Indeed, “Virtualization has matured; the economy is sinking while business costs are rising; and private clouds have already captured enterprise attention for their inherent security and reliability,” said an Appistry release describing its predictions. “These factors and more have created an ideal environment for enterprise cloud computing to thrive in 2009.”
Appistrys View of the Cloud
Appistry CEO Kevin Haar said, “This is an unprecedented time in the history of global economics and cloud computing offers a compelling advantage for enterprises to more quickly and cost-effectively deliver highly agile applications and IT services. Several trends are emerging that will enable enterprises to take full advantage of cloud computing. It’s our belief that the introduction of cloud-enabled application platforms will accelerate cloud adoption among businesses of all sizes-enterprises in particular-in 2009. Our predictions for 2009 are based on our deep expertise in this market, as well as a keen understanding of where cloud computing is headed.”
No. 2 on Appistry’s list of predictions is, “Cloud platforms will begin to overtake the app server in 2009.” Specifically, Appistry said, “Oracle and others will continue to fight a losing battle to keep their legacy application server cash cows alive. Oracle will do everything it can to protect its Oracle Application Server and BEA WebLogic franchises. In no way should they be counted out of the market, but newer, cloud-specific platforms are poised to further erode aging middleware options.”
Appistry’s third prediction is that Hewlett-Packard will “finally [work] its way into middleware.” And, “Without the constraints of older middleware that must be retrofitted for the cloud, HP is poised to use cloud computing to take market share from IBM’s traditionally reliable middleware business.”
Appistry’s fourth prediction is that “several organizations will offer standards for cloud computing-[the] standards debate rages on.” However, Appistry officials said they do not expect to see cloud standards emerge until 2010.
The fifth and final prediction from Appistry is that “Amazon will release tools to enter the platform arena.” This is the most interesting among the Appistry predictions. “While most eyes are on Google and Microsoft, Amazon has emerged as the company doing the heaviest lifting to advance cloud computing,” Appistry said. “Look for Amazon to move up the stack by offering additional tools for cloud developers in 2009, putting them at odds with the partner ecosystem they’ve built around companies such as RightScale, Elastra, 3tera and Appistry.”
There you have it. Appistry pulls no punches. It really does look like 2009 is shaping up to be a big year for the cloud.