BT
x Your opinion matters! Please fill in the InfoQ Survey about your reading habits!

10 Predictions About Cloud Computing

by Dilip Krishnan on Nov 02, 2011 |

In preparation for an panel discussion for a future of cloud computing event in Israel, Geva Perry a frequent speaker on cloud computing at corporations and industry events, published his predictions on the future of cloud computing.

[...] I wrote down a few of the concepts I've been thinking about for the past several years and I thought I would share them with my readers to get some feedback. Keep in mind these are long-term predicitions and trends (in no particular order).

As such cloud computing vendor offerings have different flavors depending on the services offering. Broadly services offered in the cloud are classified as Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service based on the solution stack. He predicts ...

  • PaaS Rules: IaaS becomes niche. In the long-run, IaaS doesn't make sense, except for a limited set of scenarios. All IaaS providers want to be PaaS when they grow up.
  • Public Rules: Internal clouds will be niche. In the long-run, Internal Clouds (clouds operated in a company's own data centers, aka "private clouds") don't make sense.

He believes that there would be specialized clouds based on a number of factors. Different cloud platforms have different characteristics and so also, the applications that it supports. Not only are there various factors that are dictated by the nature of the business, but there are also regulations by various authorities, such as enterprises, banks and for that matter governments; privacy needs; and in general the performance characteristics. He asserts its not a one size fits all. In addition it brings up these questions about standardization, portability and the vendor ecosystem with his predictions.

  • The Control vs. Freedom Debate: Freedom is the catch-all phrase for drivers of cloud adoption (no upfront costs, on-demand, self-service, empowerment of the rank & file - e.g., developers), but control (or lack thereof) is the catch-all phrase of barriers to adoption by large enterprises.
  • Cloud Federations - [...] in any business that relies heavily on trust, such as IT, nothing beats a local brand. So people will flock to the cloud of their trusted national telco or big IT provider. But on the flip side, they will need to reach a global audience and will want servers around the world. As a result, we will see the formation of cloud federations [...]
  • Cloud Standards: [...] it is also inevitable. We will, however, see multiple competing standards. At least one formal stand ard specification from a standards body and several de facto standards from large commercial players such as Amazon and VMWare.
  • The Ecosystem Wars: [...] Success in building an ecosystem will be a determining factor in who wins and loses in the cloud. It is not just about the size and breadth of the ecosystem, but how well it all works together.
  • Horizontal and Vertical Consolidation: As with any industry, as cloud computing matures, it will consolidate. This will happen both horizontally, for example large IaaS players will roll-up regional and smaller IaaS and hosting providers [...]

We've highlighted some of the predictions from his original post. What do you think about these predictions? 

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Ever notice that people see different things in clouds? by James Watson

I predict that within the next few years, the hype around cloud computing will begin to fade and that a lot of these predictions (if not all) will seem very poor in hindsight. Cloud computing is surely an important but it seems more incremental than revolutionary to me.

Re: Ever notice that people see different things in clouds? by Dilip Krishnan

I don't know if these predictions will seem poor or not in the future, but he makes good points based on what we know now. On the other hand I do think that many analysts are beginning to feel that cloud computing has matured enough that changes are beginning to feel incremental.

Re: Ever notice that people see different things in clouds? by James Watson

I don't know if these predictions will seem poor or not in the future, but he makes good points based on what we know now.


I'm not so sure. First of all, there aren't really any time frames. We can all make predictions that could eventually come true. It's predicting when that's the trick.

I get why PaaS is appealing to vendors (lock-in) but it's not terribly exiting for customers (lock-in). We tend to forget in technology is that people have to want what is being sold. PaaS only makes sense to the customer if it's standardized (of course a lot of IT customers are naive) but only proprietary PaaS is really compelling for the vendor. I find it unlikely that we will see one approach dominate the other. Additionally, PaaS requires that vendors retrofit existing applications. This is a pretty expensive thing to take for something that has little to no value to the customer.

The big problem with cloud computing as an industry is that if you have something where you can opaquely trade computing resources (as predicted) that means that none of the cloud providers have any real advantage over each other. They are just selling commodities. Not a really compelling business model. Sure you can talk about economies of scale but even this is questionable. Why is it cheaper per computer to run 10,000 computers than to run 1,000? The only economy of scale is getting full utilization which becomes harder the more computing power you have. It's not like 2 computers produce less heat or use less energy than one. And the more you pack computers into a space the harder it is to keep them cool, effectively limiting computer density. Even if big data centers provide efficiencies, they put more eggs in single basket so that disasters (natural or not) are more devastating. If a market environment, the smaller players may actually be more efficient. In an environment where computing time can be sold on markets, what's the barrier to entry?

Many of these predictions are mostly just lifted from the history of other industries or based on extremely short history of cloud computing. As the disclaimer goes: past performance is not an indication of future results.

Re: Ever notice that people see different things in clouds? by Dilip Krishnan

We can all make predictions that could eventually come true. It's predicting when that's the trick.
:D

They are just selling commodities. Not a really compelling business model. Sure you can talk about economies of scale but even this is questionable.

Thats not the only thing, it serves needs that are not limited to that... for example its speed to market, scaling on demand, plus it arbitrages the added administrative/fixed costs. How efficiently providers deliver this solution is what sets them apart. In my opinion predictions, atleast in this case, are really an attempt to bring out these issues to the front.

Re: Ever notice that people see different things in clouds? by James Watson

The link James Urquhart is appreciated. I especially like this: to Data is not Electricity.

Actually, I think that perhaps the cloud computing model is better compared to an industry with huge capital costs where profitability depends on utilizing those resources. For example, it would have some parallels with the airline industry. In such industries, the biggest players don't always win. For example Southwest pummels the big-boys, not the other way around. Another similarity is that costs and therefore prices are highly dependent on energy costs and struggle to pass on such costs to customers. This is why companies are vying to place data centers near the cool breezes and cheap hydro-power of Niagara Falls instead of in the geologically unstable fire-trap California.

My co-worker Bob has some thoughts on this too! by Bill Digman

Bob's response to "Thinking Out Cloud's Predictions".  Geva Perry is
an optimistic fellow and he came out with a list of predictions that
has been picked up at InfoQ (Thinking Out Cloud predictions).

Bob points out: "Predictions with out time-lines are fairly useless.
Cars will drive themselves. They will all be electric and many people
will own flying cars. As long as I never put a date on it, of course
it will very likely come true in the distant future."

He goes on to state: "No IaaS providers keep adding PaaS support and
the lines between IaaS and PaaS are fairly blurry. Plus you have all
of the not so great PaaS providers, who are not much more than window
dressing on AWS, over promising what equates to mostly to vaporware.
... IT shops are not jumping on the public cloud quite yet. There is
some trepidation there. Private clouds (on premises and off) and
hybrid clouds are going to see a lot more growth than pure public
plays. Public does not rule, and it will not rule for a while.
I could disagree about more, but I'll leave it for another day."
Thinking
Out Cloud: Predictions


Thinking
Out Cloud: Predictions, Bob's response.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

6 Discuss

Educational Content

General Feedback
Bugs
Advertising
Editorial
InfoQ.com and all content copyright © 2006-2014 C4Media Inc. InfoQ.com hosted at Contegix, the best ISP we've ever worked with.
Privacy policy
BT