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What do you see for the cloud in 2011?

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As the new year rapidly approaches, what trends or developments do you see up ahead for the cloud in 2011?

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  • The key developments would be the emergence of giant and portable data centers development, sub-letting to SaaS, providers and development of Cloud Integration technologies.

  • I see a number of things. Let me list them:

    An increased focus by telco Service Providers. Many of them are looking at providing cloud services. Most are looking at large enterprises, but their real sweet spot is in the SMB/Mid Market. I'm sure they will realize that quickly.

    Continued hype as companies try to carve a space out for themselves. "Cloud Washing" will continue at its best, making it difficult for customers to understand what is real and what not.

    As security continues to be critical for enterprises I see new types of public clouds arriving, addressing security, compliance and SLA issues with the current ones. We should identify a new space for those, as they are fundamentally different from the existing offerings.

    Last but not least, the debate whether public cloud is cheaper than private will rage as we move through the year.

  • Expect market consolidation in the next year continuing into 2012. Wheat to get separated from chaff, some acquisitions for headway, and more sophisticated offerings from PaaS and IaaS vendors. Bigger players will continue to enter, pounce, twist and confuse, and, some of them, do the the technically & cloud-wise right things! :)

    I also believe further bucketing of vendors beyond SaaS/IaaS/PaaS would happen and that would continue to be fueled by the niche focused companies trying to leverage cloud on specifically segmented offerings.

    As more join the bandwagon, we can also expect the cloud-washed-to-true-cloud continuum to rather get more fuzzy and wider with organizations of various technical maturity filling up those spaces.

    And, BTW, I agree with Adrian and Christian on almost all the points.

    Interesting and exciting year it should be! :)

    - Ashish
    http://ashishbhagwat.wordpress.com

  • The rapid growth of Cloud Computing has been fueled by a combination of economic and technological factors, but sustained by the immediate business benefits which have clearly demonstrated that it is not just another over-hyped tech trend.

    I expect this market to grow even more rapidly as organizations of all sizes move from asking “What is Cloud Computing and why is it important?� to “Where and how can I capitalize on the Cloud?�

    These organizations will leverage a combination of public, private and community Cloud solutions. They will also migrate to SaaS-based enterprise applications which include social networking capabilities similar to those found in Salesforce.com Chatter.

    A growing number of organizations will also capitalize on a widening array of Cloud-based Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions and “datamarts�, as well as Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) alternatives.

    In sum, the rapidly evolving Cloud Computing landscape will transform the way organizations procure, utilize and administer business applications and processing power.

  • User experience would be the key. If the cloud solutions' focus would move from Infrastructure experts\developers to the large IT community, it would become mainstream. If not, it would still be important, but much smaller in 2011.

    I believe that SaaS for standard application like email would become the default for almost all organizations with less than 1000 employees.
    Can't see who would run his own mail server infrastructure when a SaaS solution is so easy to manage an reliable.

    While I expect the giants (IBM, HP , Microsoft) to start having a real cloud offering , most will fail and Amazon would continue to have a huge lead over them.

    For many enterprises the real value of the cloud would turn out to be the collaboration features and not the the price\elasticity.

    Being able to work with contractors, remote sites, mobile employees and partners would become the killer feature for IAAS, IMO.

  • I actually touched upon this theme in my latest blog post. The interest in Cloud Computing is certainly going to continue in 2011. This being stated, at this phase of the cycle most of the effective projects consist essentially of hosting traditional applications in a virtual hosting environment, driven primarily by cost savings and a measure of on-demand infrastructure features. Being at the height of its hype, Cloud Computing is perceived in many different ways and many vendors decorate traditional offerings with Cloud feathers.

    Google, Amazon and Microsoft are perceived as the key players in the foggy view of Cloud Computing. Effective Cloud based core applications, and the technical architecture required for such, are still quite rare. I observe in the enterprise market widespread unawareness of the architectural/technical issues related to the deployment of Cloud applications (as opposed to Cloud Infrastructure).

    Since the evolution of Cloud application platforms and solutions is slow and costly, I expect that 2011 will see further adoption of Cloud Infrastructure services, while Application Platform As A Service (APaaS) providers for the Enterprise gear up and continue to build their offerings.

  • Addition to business applications, what I would like to see in 2011 is a breakthrough in personal computing areas. I'm the guy who hand assemble my desktop PCs, but now I'm OK with getting rid of one of my digital hobbies.

    Why not Amazon or Google start selling "EC2 box", "Chrome box", or whatever. This box is just a relay between a desk and a cloud environment.

    How a box looks like
    It's just a cube equipped with, for example, two 1Gbps LAN connectors, two or three HDMI connectors and ten USB connectors.

    What does a box do
    A box simply connects local devices with a cloud desktop environment, as well as providing encryption and decryption.
    Using a box, devices (e.g. LCDs, a keyboard, a mouse, a Webcam, speakers, a printer, a Blu-ray/DVD drive and so on) are securely connected with a desktop (Windows or Linux based) environment running on a could.

    Steps I expect
    1. Connect a box under my home or office router
    2. A could Management Console comes up
    3. Choose a desktop env, and enter personal ID info, payment method, additional services such as backup, virus checker, and so on
    4. A desktop comes up
    5. If I have some software product licenses, I enter product keys when requested
    6. Initial personal data load from my legacy PC

    What do you think? Is this good or bad? Do you like it or not?

  • I just published an article on this where I lay out my top three predictions for the next year.

    To paraphrase some of this: I see Infrastructure as a Service management platforms playing a key role in the cloud computing market in the comping year. Enterprises are looking for technologies that can enable them to build a cloud, easily and cost efficiently. While 2010 was the year to test the cloud, 2011 will be the year of larger scale deployments; and we are starting to see that with some of the private clouds we are building in the first half of next year. Companies that turn to new players like Cloud.com and Nimbula stand a better chance to build at scale vs repurposing VM lab technologies .. and that is starting to show through.

    I also see open source playing a large role in cloud infrastructure adoption. From OpenStack to CloudStack, there is a lot of interest both in using but also in contributing. FOSS players like Cloud.com, OpenStack, OpsSource and others are leading the charge.

  • Call me a bit jaded but I see more of the same - active enterprise push, more vendor-driven hype around cloud offerings that drown really-innovative ones and bits and pieces of news of cloud going mainstream with the usual spiel of big-name companies who have adopted. Not as bad as one might think and in fact, it has been that way the past few months, like moving in auto-pilot, except that mainstream media now takes an interest to it.

    However, like in the early stages of the hype, this is what I'd wish to see. More developer-driven cloud that produces more available and useful apps that companies and consumers alike can both relate to - something that panders to the democratizing element of development and innovation that is inherent to the cloud. Not a big a source of chunky cash flow for vendors but more empowering, disruptive and pragmatic.

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