5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011: Page 3

Posted January 4, 2011
By

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance


(Page 3 of 3)

4) Traditional apps get retrofitted to the cloud.

One of the things slowing down cloud adoption in the enterprise is legacy investments into traditional, shrink-wrap applications. However, as cloud APIs mature, traditional apps could more easily be moved to private and hybrid clouds.

“As enterprises move towards private, public, and hybrid clouds, independent software vendors (ISVs) will find a fast growing market for cloud-ready applications,” O’Day said. “This emerging market will prompt ISVs to turn to cloud computing providers to deliver their solutions via cloud APIs, ultimately giving ISVs cloud capability.” O’Day believes that ISVs will develop APIs that will provide a foundation to automate and manage workloads between private and public cloud architectures.

One problem with this vision, though, is scale. “A big cloud computing misconception is that applications automatically scale when you put them into the cloud,” Cisco’s Tucker said. “The reality is that while some ‘platform-as-a-service’ offerings and frameworks do provide some degree of auto-scaling, in general, applications need to be architected to scale. In cloud computing, applications can provision their own resources, so properly architected applications can in fact be made to readily scale either up or down, but this needs to be designed in.”

The cloud is fundamentally changing how applications are designed and consumed. Finding ways to factor in legacy applications as the cloud matures will accelerate its adoption. Expect to see vendors who lose out on other cloud opportunities, such as, say, with hosting, refocusing their efforts on bringing legacy applications to the cloud and making sure they are able to scale.

5) Applications begin to gain mobility too.

One of the most troubling obstacles to the cloud is security. In a world where data can be accessed from any device anywhere, traditional security falls apart. However, this argument was also made against WiFi. How could IT control a network that could leak beyond its walls?

The answer wasn’t all that difficult. With proper access control and identity enforcement in place, WiFi spread like wildfire. More interestingly, some of the early business-class WiFi startups, such as BlueSocket and Newbury Networks (now part of Juniper), offered even stronger security, limiting access by role or even physical location.

With cloud access and identity enforcement being solved by the likes of SecureAuth and Symplified, could the cloud be ready for the kind of advanced security that helped WiFi mature into an enterprise-class technology?

Duncan Johnston-Watt, CEO of cloud software company CloudSoft believes so. According to Johnston-Watt, “intelligent application mobility” is the key to broader cloud acceptance.

“Intelligent application mobility hinges on the ability to logically decompose a transactional application into fine-grained segments that, once deployed, can then be dynamically migrated under the guidance of policies designed to automatically optimize and govern the use of the cloud infrastructure available -- while doing so without any interruption or degradation of the service,” Johnston-Watt said.

That’s all well and good, but this doesn’t remove security worries that most CIOs have – until you add location to the mix.

“When calculations contain sensitive data, a company may have requirements as to where the application runs (i.e. within a certain country). It's imperative developers work with a system that can ensure geographical security so internal and external regulations are met automatically as more precedence is being put on privacy laws,” he said.

Location with the cloud is an order of magnitude more difficult than with WiFi. Ten years ago, IT managers were worried about WiFi signals beaming next door, where they could be intercepted. With a cloud-based architecture, CIOs now must worry not only about the typical risky locations, say an unsecured public WiFi network in an airport, but also risks involved with where in the world end users are.

As with a few other items on this list, this problem won’t be solved in 2011. It will, though, be one of the issues that enterprises tackle as the cloud becomes ever more mainstream.


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Tags: cloud computing, apps, networks, Enterprise IT, smartphone apps


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