10 Disruptive Cloud Computing Trends: Page 3

Posted September 21, 2010

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

(Page 3 of 3)

8. Dissatisfaction with cloud status quo leads to open source pushback.

The lack of standards and interoperability has left many to wonder if we’re just repeating the mistakes of the early client-server days. One of the cloud’s promises is that it frees companies from vendor-lock. That’s not always how it plays out today, though.

If you abandon one cloud provider for another, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to recapture all of your data and smoothly transition workloads. Even if you build your own in-house private cloud, you’ll often find that the lack of interoperability gets in the way.

“Companies interested in cloud computing face the difficult task of integrating complex software and hardware components that typically must come from multiple vendors. The resulting systems often end up being expensive to build and hard to operate, which minimizes the original reason of moving to the cloud model in the first place,” said Sheng Liang, founder and CEO of Cloud.com, a provider of open-source cloud-computing software.

As a result, startups like Cloud.com are aggressively pursuing open-source alternatives to proprietary cloud solutions. Cloud.com believes that the way to balance the shift to the cloud, while protecting legacy systems and avoiding vendor lock, is to focus on an open source cloud layer above the virtualization one.

Organizations will then have a reliable platform that enables the deployment, management, and configuration of virtualized resources no matter where they reside, inside the firewall, outside, and on any number of service-provider clouds.

Cloud.com isn’t the only startup featuring the open-source label as a key component of its value proposition. Others include Eucalyptus, Abiquo, Cloudera and Sonoa Systems, to name only a few.

Meanwhile, open source organizations like OpenStack are getting support from such established vendors as Dell, Rackspace, Intel and Citrix.

9. Lack of standards is still a problem.

While there is clear open source momentum in the cloud, it doesn’t mean that the lack of standards isn’t a problem. While standards are emerging, it’s slow going.

The big cloud providers, for instance, have thrown their support behind SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), a standard for exchanging security and authentication information. But it took a while for Microsoft to give SAML its stamp of approval, since it instead favored its own alternative, WS-Federation.

Meanwhile, in other areas, there are no clear standards at all. “There are no standards for virtual machine images, no standards for delivering Infrastructure as a Service and no standard methods for ensuring data privacy in shared environments,” said Dr. Kate Keahey, a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a fellow of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago

“Not only do we need standards, but we also need a way to investigate and regulate who is putting what into public clouds,” said Mark Popolano, former CIO at AIG and currently a Senior Advisor at Ineum Consulting.

Popolano envisions new risks arising from the lack of cloud oversight. How do we know that cloud providers won’t actually be helping out criminals, hostile foreign entities or even terrorists? As things stand now, we don’t.

10. The one-size-fits-all software era is nearing its end.

Any time technology creates upheaval in the business world, business models change. Think of all the web-based companies, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, that couldn’t have existed 20 years ago.

I asked Jeff Stiles, SVP of SAP’s On-Demand Marketing, how he thought business models would change in reaction to the cloud. “What the cloud enables at every layer is the ability to reset relationships between vendors, customers and partners,” Stiles said. “The most immediate change will be with how software is designed and delivered.”

Of course, that change is already well underway. The shrink-wrap, per-CPU licensing model is on its way out. We all know that. A more interesting trend that Stiles sees coming is that software will increasingly be designed to meet narrower needs.

Instead of, say, big CRM platforms that look the same whether you’re in trucking, retail or software development, vendors will tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs of each vertical.

This change won’t necessarily be the result of a renewed focus on customers. Rather, it could very well be driven by downward price pressures. If big platforms become commoditized, vendors will need these narrow extensions to stay profitable.

Note: This is the first in a series of articles about cloud computing trends, upheavals and promising business models. Check back soon for “10 Hot Cloud Innovations,” which will include the emergence of sky computing, the collision of smartphones and the cloud and how the cloud is changing Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game design.

Page 3 of 3

Previous Page
1 2 3

Tags: cloud computing, Cloud, virtualization, Cloud network, Virtual Cloud Management

0 Comments (click to add your comment)
Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.



IT Management Daily
Don't miss an article. Subscribe to our newsletter below.

By submitting your information, you agree that datamation.com may send you Datamation offers via email, phone and text message, as well as email offers about other products and services that Datamation believes may be of interest to you. Datamation will process your information in accordance with the Quinstreet Privacy Policy.

We have made updates to our Privacy Policy to reflect the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.