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Cloud computing scenarios: 2010 and beyond
Get an insight into the evolutionary phases of Cloud Computing
By Diptarup Chakraborti, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner, June 28, 2010
While cloud computing is about a very simple idea—consuming and/or delivering services from ‘the cloud’ —there are many issues regarding the types of cloud computing and the scope of deployment. This makes the idea of cloud computing not nearly so simple.
Everyone has a perspective and an opinion—confusion is rampant. Misconceptions abound, especially as they relate to cost cutting. The cloud is often part of cost-cutting discussions, even though its ability to cut costs is often a misconception.
Another part of the discussion is centered around capabilities, agility, speed and innovation. Potential benefits can be overlooked if hype fatigue sets in. The impact of cloud computing will be felt widely as we deal with the real and hype-driven changes that many consider to be a re-envisioning of other distributed and utility computing models, such as utility computing, on demand services, grid computing and software as a service (SaaS).
Through 2012, Global 1000 IT organizations will spend more money building private cloud computing services instead of offerings from public cloud computing service providers
- Many large enterprises are interested in cloud computing, but are concerned about security, regulatory compliance and uptime.
- The term ‘private cloud computing’ describes the style of computing used by a modern internal IT provider which is similar to that of an external cloud-computing service provider.
- Almost all Global 1000 organizations have server virtualization projects in place, and many consider those the basis for their private cloud computing strategies.
Cloud computing has a promising future, but many large enterprises will invest in the near term on private cloud-computing services, especially in the area of infrastructure-as-a- service (IaaS). Virtualization of servers and storage will be the basis for most (but not all) of these architectures, but virtualization alone is not sufficient.
Large enterprises will be investing in technologies that enable service automation, chargeback and selfservice. These changes will also help drive cultural, political, funding and organizational changes that will make a future migration to external cloud computing services an easier and more viable choice. This will also spur more enterprise IT organizations to operate like a business.
Private cloud computing will not make sense for all organizations. Investment in private cloud computing requires a business case, and a return on investment before external cloud computing services mature. Private cloud computing will primarily make sense for larger enterprises, and enterprises with unique security and service requirements.
- Understand your IT service portfolios, service-level requirements and service costs before building a private cloud service.
- Develop a separate strategic plan for all services under consideration, as well as an analysis against external service offerings.
- Build a private cloud service only after you have developed a complete business case analysis for doing so— it’s all about return on investment, in terms of cost and business value.
- Evaluate and constantly benchmark yourself against external cloud service offerings, and ensure that you design in flexibility to migrate in the future.
By 2013, at least two of the top three providers of SaaS and IaaS services will each offer a PaaS as a strategic offering
- IaaS providers will run into limitations if their offerings address only system resource buyers; to grow their market share, they will look to expand their offerings.
Few IaaS providers will contemplate entering the SaaS market, given their highly technical backgrounds. Most will consider platform-as-a-service (PaaS) a natural extension to their core
expertise and will pursue that market segment through acquisitions, partnerships or by adopting open-source platform technologies.
The most ambitious SaaS providers, looking to establish vast followings in partner and technology ecosystems, will create the dominating programming model and technology platform for SaaS ISVs. They will provide a PaaS offering in addition to a SaaS offering, typically through internal development and by capitalizing on embedded open-source
resources to improve time-to-market.
Rapid consolidation will follow the rapid growth in the number of providers offering PaaS solutions. The leadership in the PaaS market will belong to vendors that are able to combine the business foundation of SaaS or IaaS with the technology leadership of PaaS. PaaS will provide the vision, and SaaS or IaaS will provide the execution components of leadership.
Vendors with the IaaS and SaaS background entering the PaaS market will favor the technology and architecture solutions that best fit their core competencies. For example, the IaaS experts will typically choose the shared hardware model of multitenancy and SaaS experts—a proprietary version of a shared-everything model).
Only the pure PaaS providers will develop innovations independently, not held back by the demands of their established businesses. The optimal solutions will likely emerge in a combination of independent PaaS investments and a seasoned business of a mature technology provider.
- Users should not expect an emergence of a successful standard for PaaS offerings to emerge in the next three years. However, some of the offerings will emerge as the de facto standards gain substantial followings in tools, applications and other add-ons.
- Current cloud-computing leaders may not remain leaders in the long run. Active consolidation of the market and the emergence of winning combinations from mergers and acquisitions are more likely to occur, rather than through pure internal development.
- Considering the uncertainty of the long-term market landscape, users should choose PaaS offerings based on their current merits, acknowledging—but not being driven by—the provider’s expected longterm prospects.
By 2012, enterprise concerns over lock-in and standards will supplant security as the biggest objections to cloud computing
- Enterprise concerns around cloud computing today tend to be described at a high level as “security concerns.”
- As enterprises’ attitudes toward the cloud mature, issues currently lumped into the security category will gain in prominence as true security concerns are more directly addressed.
- Enterprises are more cynical about vendors’ claims that users are able to move easily across providers.
- Vendors are beginning to address data ownership, backup and synchronization.
Lock-in issues increase in higher levels (for example, SaaS) of cloud computing.
- Apply lessons learned from outsourcing and hosting to cloud computing.
- Pressure vendors to support emerging standards for portability and interoperability in cloud computing.
- Apply techniques from due diligence in on-premises enterprise software, such as source code escrow strategies.